Central Park Guide.
1869 (undated) 7.5 x 16.5 in (19.05 x 41.91 cm)
1 : 10800
A rare hand-colored map of New York City's Central Park prepared and printed for inclusion in the 1869 edition of Manual of the Corporation of the City of New York. It depicts the park as a whole and includes pathways, lakes, buildings, individual trees, rocks, and elevation measurements. The streets and avenues surrounding the park are labeled as are the various landmarks of Central Park â€' the Knoll, The Ramble, the Mall, and some 55 others.
This extraordinary map reveals Central Park as conceived by the Landscape Architects, and indeed 'artists,' Vaux and Olmstead. Vaux and Olmstead were awarded the task of designing Central Park in 1853 by the City Common Council. Olmstead's vision drove the overall design while Vaux concentrated his attentions on bridges, buildings, and other structures within the park. The creation of Central Park, which was to consist of some 800 acres of public forest, pathways, promenades, lakes, bridges, and meadows, was a seminal moment in civic urban design. The park itself was designed as a whole with every tree, pond, and bench meticulously planned. Olmstead wrote: 'Every foot of the parks surface, every tree and bush, as well as every arch, roadway, and walk and been placed where it is for a purpose.' Historian Gloria Deak writes,There was a staggering amount of work to be done to transform the area into a blend of pastoral and woodland scenery. This involved the design and construction of roadways, tunnels, bridges, arches, stairways, fountains, benches, lamp posts, gates, fences and innumerable other artifacts. It also involved the supervision of an army of about five thousand laborersâ€¦Olmsted, to whom most of the credit goes, insisted on seeing the multidimensional project as a single work of art, which he was mandated to create. For this purpose, he ventured to assume to himself the title of 'artist.'Today, because of Vaux and Olmstead's efforts, New York Yorkers, ourselves included, have the privilege of enjoying what is, perhaps, the finest example of a planned urban public recreation area in the world.
Publisher and cartographer unknown.
Very good. Minor wear and verso repair along original fold lines. Some toning and spotting.
Deak, Gloria Gilda, Picturing America: 1497-1899. Vol. 1. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1988. pp. 535-536; Peters, Harry T. America on Stone. U.S.: Doubleday, Doran, 1931. pp. 350-356. (Sarony, Major & Knapp).