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1892 Central Park New York City Arthur Jules Goodman Victorian Life Society NYC

$29.99

1892 Central Park New York City Arthur Jules Goodman Victorian Life Society NYC

$29.99
SKU:
IA0036
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1892 Central Park New York City Arthur Jules Goodman Victorian Life Society NYC Illustrated American

This historic 119+ year old ORIGINAL vintage article, Central Park, was carefully removed from the Illustrated American, published in 1892. Article is 6 pages with 5 illustrations by renown illustrator Arthur Jules Goodman.  Page size is 9" x 12".  (IA0036)

Article has five sections including:

  1. In the Meadow
  2. On the Mall
  3. At the Casino
  4. In the Lovers Walk
  5. On the Lakes

Condition: Good Condition with some light toning due to age. A few of the pages have chips to the corners.  See photos

See more vintage 19th Century New York City articles!

Central Park New York 1857?1900

Central Park was not a part of the Commissioners' Plan of 1811; however, between 1821 and 1855, New York City nearly quadrupled in population. As the city expanded, people were drawn to the few existing open spaces, mainly cemeteries, to get away from the noise and chaotic life in the city

New York City's need for a great public park was voiced by the poet and editor of the Evening Post (now the New York Post), William Cullen Bryant, and by the first American landscape architect, Andrew Jackson Downing, who began to publicize the city's need for a public park in 1844. A stylish place for open-air driving, similar to the Bois de Boulogne in Paris or London's Hyde Park, was felt to be needed by many influential New Yorkers, and, after an abortive attempt in 1850-51 to designate Jones's Wood, in 1853 the New York legislature settled upon a 700-acre (280 ha) area from 59th to 106th Streets for the creation of the park, at a cost of more than US$5 million for the land alone.[citation needed]

The state appointed a Central Park Commission to oversee the development of the park, and in 1857 the commission held a landscape design contest. Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux developed what came to be known as the "Greensward Plan," which was selected as the winning design.

According to Olmsted, the park was "of great importance as the first real Park made in this century?a democratic development of the highest significance?," a view probably inspired by his stay and various trips in Europe during 1850. He visited several parks during these trips and was particularly impressed by Birkenhead Park and Derby Arboretum in England.

Several influences came together in the design. Landscaped cemeteries, such as Mount Auburn (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and Green-Wood (Brooklyn, New York) had set examples of idyllic, naturalistic landscapes. The most influential innovations in the Central Park design were the "separate circulation" systems for pedestrians, horseback riders, and pleasure vehicles. The "crosstown" commercial traffic was entirely concealed in sunken roadways, (today called "transverses"), screened with densely-planted shrub belts so as to maintain a rustic ambience.

The Greensward plan called for some 36 bridges, all designed by Vaux, ranging from rugged spans of Manhattan schist or granite, to lacy neo-gothic cast iron; no two are alike. The ensemble of the formal line of the Mall's doubled allées of elms culminating at Bethesda Terrace, whose centerpiece is the Bethesda Fountain, with a composed view beyond of lake and woodland, was at the heart of the larger design.

Before the construction of the park could start, the area had to be cleared of its inhabitants, most of whom were quite poor and either free African Americans or residents of English or Irish origin. Most of them lived in small villages, such as Seneca Village, Harsenville, or the Piggery District; or else in the school and convent at Mount St. Vincent's Academy. Around 1,600 residents occupying the area at the time, were evicted under the rule of eminent domain during 1857. Seneca Village and parts of the other communities were razed to make room for the park.
A map of Central Park from 1875

During the construction of the park, Olmsted fought constant battles with the park commissioners, many of whom were appointees of the city's Democratic machine. In 1860, he was forced out for the first of many times as Central Park's superintendent, and Andrew Haswell Green, the former president of New York City's board of education took over as the chairman of the commission. Despite the fact that he had relatively little experience, he still managed to accelerate the construction, as well as to finalize the negotiations for the purchase of an additional 65 acres (260,000 m2) at the north end of the park, between 106th and 110th Streets, which would be used as the "rugged" part of the park, its swampy northeast corner dredged, and reconstructed as the Harlem Meer.

Between 1860 and 1873, most of the major hurdles to construction were overcome, and the park was substantially completed. Construction combined the modern with the ageless: up-to-date steam-powered equipment and custom-designed wheeled tree moving machines augmented massive numbers of unskilled laborers wielding shovels. The work was extensively documented with technical drawings and photographs. During this period, more than 18,500 cubic yards (14,000 m³) of topsoil had been transported in from New Jersey, because the original soil was not fertile or substantial enough to sustain the various trees, shrubs, and plants called for by the Greensward Plan. When the park was officially completed in 1873, more than ten million cartloads of material had been transported out of the park, including soil and rocks. More than four million trees, shrubs and plants representing approximately 1,500 species were transplanted to the park.

More gunpowder was used to clear the area than was used at the battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.

Sheep grazed on the Sheep Meadow from the 1860s until 1934, when they were moved upstate as it was feared they would be used for food by impoverished Depression-era New Yorkers.

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