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Here Are The Facts That You Should Know About Central Park Before Your Next Visit

In the heart of the concrete jungle and skyscrapers in New York City lies a beautiful oasis of greenery that is Central Park. It is located in Manhattan, New York and covers 843 acres of land. 

Central Park receives around 42 million visitors every year. It is comprised of lush sprawling lawns and seven water bodies.

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People from all over the world come to visit the picturesque park which is considered a tourist destination.

It is right at the top alongside Rockefeller Center and Times Square.

Central Park History

Central Park was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a New York City Landmark in 1974.

Before handing over the reins of power to Central Park Conservancy, it was managed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation for many years.

The Park has been widely televised and despite not having been there, most people from all over the world are familiar with it.

It also has phenomenal statues, architecture and a magical castle.

The most popular statues are that of Alice and Wonderland, sled dog, and Duke Ellington.

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Here are some interesting facts about the park:

It Was The First Landscaped Public Park In The USA

Despite looking natural, the humongous park was actually built. Wealthy New Yorkers wanted a park-like those they saw in London and Paris.

After a design competition, Frederick Law Olmsted and architect Calvert Vaux emerged as the winners and inevitably, the park designers.

They designed it as an artificial landscape that looks natural with the inclusion of water bodies. 

Central Park was completed in the 1870s. More than a half-million shrubs, trees, and vines were planted during the building of the Park. Today, there are more than 26,000 trees, including 1,700 American elms.

They called it the ‘Greensward Plan’ which encompassed a harmonious balance between natural and man-made elements, included terraces, bridges, and sunken roadways that would allow carriages to travel through the park without interrupting pedestrians.

Central Park Is A ‘Movie Star’

While the name is reserved for living things, we will make an exception for the world’s most filmed and televised park. Central Park has been featured in over 350 films.

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It currently holds the title of the most filmed public park in the world. The very first film to be shot in Central Park was the first film version of Romeo and Juliet produced by Vitagraph Studios in 1908.

Some of the ones that have followed since that you may be familiar with include:

  • The Avengers
  • Step Up
  • Night at The Museum
  • Spider-Man 3
  • Men In Black III
  • The Dictator

It Is Bigger Than Some Countries

Central Park is on a rectangular plot bounded by Fifth and Eighth Avenues on the west and east, and 59th and 106th streets on the north and south.

It covers 843 acres of land making it bigger than some countries like Monaco.

The perimeter of the park stretches six miles and contains within it twenty-six baseball fields, seven bodies of water, and fifty-eight miles of pathways. It is however not the biggest park.

It Has A Legendary Carousel

The famous carousel has 57 horses and is one of the largest and oldest merry-go-rounds in America to date. The 57 horse carousel replaced the original three, two of which caught fire.

It is not without the characteristic weet calliope music. The carousel is very functional in the park and is a source of leisure and entertainment for visitors.

It Was Home To Sheep

It did not get its name ‘sheep meadow’ from nowhere. In the 1860s, the Sheep Meadow in Central Park was filled with sheep who would graze there.

They were however eventually moved as they quickly became food for the citizens battling hard economic times. At 15 acres, it is now the Park’s largest lawn without ballfields. People now go there to sunbathe, picnic and fly kites.

It Has A Magical Castle

Of all the sculptures and statues in the park, the Belvedere Castle standing high on top of Vista Rock is by far the most magical structure created there.

It was originally designed in 1865 by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould.

It serves as a real romantic spot for many and gives off a victorian royalty vibe.

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