- First landscaped public park in the United States.
- 843 acres in size.
- Most of the land was swampy and beset with boulders, making it a good candidate for a park, since few wanted to build there.
- 1600 people lived in what is now central Park. One neighborhood was Seneca Village, Manhattan’s first known community of property owners. It was along 82nd-89th st between 7th and 8th Ave.
- The city held a public competition for the park’s design.
- The winning designers had no formal experience in landscaping. Calbert Vaux was an article and Fredrick Law Olmstead was a writer.
- 20,000 workers were hired to create the park.
- More gunpowder was used to clear the park than in the battle of Gettysburg
- None of the park is the original landscape, all the lakes have a system of pipes and drains to maintain the water level.
- Most of the trees were originally from New Jersey, as was most of the dirt, the existing soil was not right for the park’s needs.
- There are 11 bridges and 22 arches in the park, all unique.
- There is an Egyptian Obelisk in the park near the Metropolitan Museum of art, it dates to the year 1450 BC and weighs 220 tons.
- The zoo was not originally part of the Park’s design. However, the city received wild animals as presents for creating the park and had to make a place to put them.
- The original Carousel was erected in 1871, it was powered by a mule under the track.
- On September 19th 1981, 500,000 people gathered to listen to Simon and Garfunkel perform in Central Park.
- Today the park is chiefly maintained by the Central Park Conservancy, started in 1980 during the city’s fiscal crisis, they solicit private donations to maintain and upgrade the park.
- The conservancy received it’s largest donation $100 million in October 2012.
– Mark Gilman, Tour Guide