In spring New Yorkers flock to Central Park, the most frequently visited urban park in the United States. Now, a remarkable new book tells the story of how the great park came to be. The Central Park Book: Original Designs for New York’s Greatest Treasure by Cynthia Brenwall (Abrams 2019), features hundreds of color photographs illustrations and plans, including the original winning entry for the park’s design by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calbert Vaux. With over 65 design projects, from the two magnificent museums on either side of the park down to the carefully detailed benches and lampposts, The Central Park is an exceptional art book and a lesson on what visionary urban planning can do for a great city.
Drawn from the collections of the NYC Municipal Archives, and much of it never before published, the book is a virtual time machine that takes the reader on a journey through the park as it was originally envisioned. Included are more than 250 color photographs and illustrations; meticulously detailed plans and elevations of many of the architectural features of the park—some built, some unbuilt; elegant designs for all kinds of fixtures needed in a world of gaslight and horses; as well as intricate engineering drawings of park infrastructure. It is both a magnificent art book and a message from the past about how brilliant urban planning can open up a great city.
Cynthia Brenwall, a conservator and art historian who has worked for the New York City Municipal Archives since 2012, caring for some of the city’s most important historical documents, including the conservation and documentation of the Central Park collection, much of which is included in this book. Artwork and maps from the book will be on exhibit.
Followed by a Q& A period and book sale and signing.
Light refreshments will be served
For more information on the book, click here