"The Bridges and Arches" Central Park Tip by nicolaitan

Central Park, New York City: 406 reviews and 745 photos

by nicolaitan
  • Greywacke - New York City
    by nicolaitan
  • The Bridges and Arches - New York City
  • Trefoil - New York City
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  • Terrace - New York City
    by nicolaitan
  • The Bridges and Arches - New York City

I find the most remarkable feature of Central Park to be the 36 bridges and arches that carry pedestrian and vehicular traffic through and especially across the park. Olmstead and Vaux anticipated the growth of the city to surround the park even though at the time of planning the city only extended to the 34th Street region. They created a system allowing for separate roads for all types of traffic and obviated the need for unsightly intersections by using arches and bridges to carry traffic on different levels. For instance, the transverse roads are all submerged and in large part obscured from the park level. Unlike European parks, the bridges are hidden and inconspicuous. Vaux and his assistant Jacob Mould used brick, marble, granite, rock, and cast iron (Mould's specialty) to create totally different structures at each site. The bridges are hidden until you suddenly stumble onto or under one and then their unique designs are a pleasure to see.

Greywacke, pictured adjacent, is unique in that it is the only bridge named after the material used in its construction - a type of sandstone found in the Hudson River Valley. All the bridges and arches have names of course

Image 2 - note how a busy roadway is totally hidden from the park.
Image 5 - this wider arch directs a bridle path beneath a pedestrian walkway.

Address: Central Park, New York, NY 10022
Directions: Bounded by Centeral Park West & 5th Ave. and W. 110thSt. & W. 59 th St.
Phone: (212) 310-6600
Website: http://www.centralpark.org/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated May 6, 2007
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