Monday, July 15, 2013

Alternative Visions of Central Park

In 1857, New York City announced a design competition to improve and expand Central Park.  As many people know, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s submitted the winning entry and claimed the $2000 prize. Over 150 years later, the park remains one of the most beloved civic spaces in the country.  The design has been so successful that it's almost difficult to imagine the city without it. 

But a recent exhibit at the New York Historical Society takes a look at what might have been.  In 1857, 33 designs were submitted for the park.  Surprisingly, only five survive.  Here's a link to Olmsted's design.  Here are images of a couple of the proposed alternatives.  Central park could have had a lot more topiaries

Steve Clowney

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