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Central Park

New York’s Central Park is the first urban landscape park in the U.S.A. The original purpose of the park was to disprove European views that Americans had no appreciation for cultural refinement; but had a selfish materialism that prevented interest in the greater and common good.

History of Central Park

The park was planned in the early 1850’s; the project itself lasted well over a decade, and cost the city about ten million dollars. The Board of Park Commissioners, set up a design competition for the park, and among the 33 entries. Created by Olmsted and Vaux, the winner was the Greensward Plan (1858). The plan focused mainly on improving existing land contours to heighten the picturesque qualities of the breathtaking landscape.

Spring in Central Park Watercolor Painting
Spring in Central Park Watercolor Painting

 

Designers planned the park to be a democratic experiment. Mainly for the reprieve of the working class, whose daily lives often consisted of tenements and sweatshops. As well as for the amusement of the wealthy upperclass. They could show off and flaunt their clothing, take pleasure in enjoying romantic carriage rides around the park while gazing out at the diverse landscapes. The present park environment reflects all the activities people relish. From skating at the Wollman Rink to enjoying relaxing walks on the Bow Bridge over the clear waters beneath.

Construction

During the first 20 years of construction, millions of cartloads of dirt were brought in. Along with 632 species of trees and 815 types of vines, colorful perennials, and varying alpine plants were planted to give the park its particular unpretentious beauty. Workers dumped a layer of top soil on top the existing poor soil so the plants could grow. These eye-catching blossoms and florets still grab the attentions of many visitors and tourists. As a result, they are ideal targets for eager photographers and artists.

The Greensward Plan also incorporated the existent Arsenal and Croton reservoirs. Since north of the reservoir site the area was high and rocky with amazing views, the designers chose to leave this area as natural and wild as possible. South of the reservoirs were glacial ridges which were converted into shady glens, open meadows, and sloping hills. As a formal touch, designers added a mall along with a fountain and statuary.

 

Bow Bridge Color Photograph
Bow Bridge Color Photograph

The paintings and photos offered at nyArt.com highlight some of the main attractions of the grand Central Park of New York. Several of the artworks include the Bow Bridge and the Gapstow Bridge, both places known for being ideal scenes for carriage rides and casual strolls. The paintings focus on portraying the seasons of spring or fall in Central Park since that’s when the flora is most stunning with colors splattering all over the great landscape. Some paintings and photos also show Central Park in the winter to show off the glazed over, frozen lakes and streams and the snowy, sloping hill tops. Buy some of these artworks to truly get caught in the down to earth beauty of Central Park.