Last week we reported on the revitalization of Central Park’s East Lawn. The post talks specifically about the destruction done to Central Park by 1970 and how the Central Park Conservancy restored many of the parks most beloved locations including The Great Lawn. In this post we bring you evidence of the sad state the park was in and how wonderful it looked after the Conservancy saved it. Bring out the before and after shots (click on them to make them larger):
Central Park’s East Meadow reopened this Tuesday, adding one more beautiful pastoral setting for New Yorkers to enjoy. While this may seem like just another ribbon cutting, it’s actually a significant restoration to the park which has taken over 30 years to come to fruition.
The 1970s were not good to New York City or Central Park for that matter. Author Allan Tennenbaum called the city “dirty, dangerous and destitute.” Things became so bad that the city lobbied the Federal Government for a financial bail-out. President Ford said no and The Daily News printed the famous headline, “Ford to City – Drop Dead.”
Much of Central Park was covered in graffiti. Lampposts had been decapitated. Famous park buildings like Belvedere Castle and The Dairy were closed to the public and used as storage sheds. Central Park’s lawns also suffered. 1960s protests, peace rallies and concerts had turned the park’s meadows into dusty, grey expanses that flooded when it rained.
But all that changed in 1979 when the Central Park Conservancy was founded by Betsy Rogers and Gordon Davis. They created a non-profit organization completely separate from the city that would raise funds to help restore and manage Central Park. The organization currently raises 85% of the park’s annual budget through private donatation.Since the founding of the Conservancy, they managed to restore most of the park landmarks and as of this Tuesday all seven of the park’s meadows.
“It looked like a dust bowl before, a six acre dust bowl, and today we have six acres of green meadowland with new Kentucky Bluegrass, all put in by the Central Park Conservancy to create what the park’s founders, Olmsted and Vaux, believed to be the ideal example of a pastoral meadowland,” said Dena Libner of the conservancy.
The renovations cost $3 million dollars and include a new irrigation system, improved grading for better drainage, enhanced horticulture on the surrounding land, clay ovals for all-weather sports, and brand new topsoil and sod.
“This has been a long time coming,” Neil Calvanese, the conservancy’s vice president for operations, told The New York Times. “We’re very happy to see it the way it should be, with this luxurious cover of new turf and framed by magnificent trees.”
We strive to give the best damn Central Park tour that money can buy. Our tour guides are friendly, extremely knowledgeable, and officially licensed by NYC. Our Central Park tours highlight more than twenty-seven different locations in Central Park at sunset.
Weekend Getaway On October 27, 2017, we decided to join the Sunset Tour of Central Park with Matthew. Matthew did and amazing job explaining all the history of Central Park in a 2.5 hour span. The pace was perfect and we covered...read more a lot of grounds with some amazing stories about Central Park. Matthew was great at the details of the history and fully explained certain people that shaped the park. I would highly suggest the tour of the Central Park and try to get Matthew - great guyread less
Sunset tour of Central Park with guide Matt Falber The tour was excellent and Matt had a wealth of knowledge about the park,he was very friendly and happy to answer any of your questions, it was well worth doing and would highly recommend to anyone who likes walking and...read more love historical facts regarding the background to the park.read less
If you're visiting New York, you HAVE to take this tour of Central Park. Our guide, Kelsey, was absolutely amazing. She's funny, witty and, most of all, she knows her Central Park inside out. She answered all of our questions,...read more showed us all the places where movies had been made and places that locals might not even know about. We really enjoyed every minute of it. Oh, don't forget to bring your camera. It was one of the highlights of our trip to NYC. Thanks again Kelsey! We had a great time!read less
Be prepared for the walk. Especially on a hot summer day it's kind of exhausting. But we had so much fun. Our tour guide was Matt, he was really nice and very knowledgable. Definitely recommend the tour.
Matthew did a great job of giving the history of the park, the reasons that the design ended-up the way it did, some of the architecture in the park. It was well presented, interesting, and enjoyable. We would highly recommend it.
If / when you are in NY you must take this tour. We just loved it
If/ when you are in NY you must take this tour. We just loved it
Wonderful! Our guide, was knowledgeable and friendly. I’ve been in Central Park many times but learned so much more about it: about how it got there and why; about the architecture and all the contributors; historical facts and interesting stories....read more Definitely would recommend this tour.read less
Marie Van Duyne11/21/2013
Been to Central Park many times in a past. An organized tour with a very knowledgeable tour guide made our experience very unique.
Ellen A Kaplan11/12/2016
Great way to learn about the park history and see parts you maybe wouldn't have thought to go, a beautiful and fun experience. I highly recommend on your next trip to NYC or staycation you consider booking a tour! It's...read more about three hours but leisurely walking and extremely knowledgeable and personable guide. Wish I remembered the young guy's name, but he was awesome. One of my favorite memories of the city was this tour.read less