New York’s population doubled in the 30 years up to 1855, by which time the burgeoning city was in desperate need of more green space.
The answer was to cut a giant strip from the middle of Manhattan’s grid system, from 5th to 8th Avenue, and from 59th to 110th Street.
On 843 acres, this captivating landscape was drawn up by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux and officially completed in 1873. Within Central Park’s boundaries are ponds, a central lake, a reservoir, public art, schist outcrops, almost 50 fountains, 21 playgrounds, complete sports facilities, more than 25,000 trees and dozens of interesting landmarks like the stately Bethesda Terrace.
The list of things to do is almost endless, and includes a zoo, boating, yoga classes, outdoor theatre and horse-drawn carriage tours.