Construction of the park began in 1858 and continued for 15 years. The original budget was $5 million for the project. However, the completed project cost about $14 million. A team of workers moved five million cubic yards of earth to accomplish the winning plan. The building included 11 overpasses, transverse roads, and 36 bridges and arches. The rolling hills and landscaping were all handmade. Then, finally, over 500,000 plants were added.
Unfortunately, no long-term plan was implemented for the park’s maintenance. This led to a decline in its condition. By 1934, it was in desperate need of a revival. Not only did the park receive an overhaul, 19 playgrounds, ballfields, and handball courts were added.
Individual groups worked independently to maintain the park over the years. However, in 1980, those groups came together to form a singular Central Park Conservancy in partnership with the City. This created a unified effort to protect, maintain, and improve the park. Since this formation, almost $1 billion has been invested in the park.
Central Park measures 2.5 miles long from North to South. It is a half-mile wide from East to West. The park is divided into three sections, North, Mid-Park, and South.
Things To Do
You will find plenty of things to do in NYC that will entertain the entire family. Tours will take you around Central Park, showing you the most interesting sites while telling you about the park’s rich history. Ice skating rinks are a must during the winter months. Paddle boat rentals are popular during the summer months. The Zoo and aquarium give the park an exotic touch.
Exercise and Sports
There are several sports fields and complexes throughout Central Park. They are perfect places for locals to gather and play recreational sports, youth leagues, and casual games.
- Baseball fields
- Basketball courts
- Bicycling and greenways
- Fitness equipment
- Handball courts
- Horseback riding trails
- Outdoor pools
- Ice skating rinks
- 21 Playgrounds
- Soccer fields
- Spray shower
- Tennis court
- Volleyball courts
Grabbing a bite to eat is convenient within the park. There are food carts throughout where you can purchase something small at. There are also several cafes for something more substantial but fast and casual.
If you want a more formal and elevated dining experience, consider Tavern on the Green. The restaurant is almost as old as the park. Opening in the 1930s, it is regarded as an “it” place to dine among New York City’s elite and wealthy.
How To Visit
Visiting Central Park is easy, as it is open seven days a week from 6 am to 1 am. There are several entry points around the perimeter of the park. You do not need to purchase tickets or make reservations.
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