Monday, June 12, 2017

The Gates in Central Park New York City

When Central Park was being designed, much debate occurred as to the appearance of the entrances leading into and out of the park. A large series of proponents encouraged highly ornate gates such as those common to the grand parks of European cities like Paris and London. One vocal advocate for the European-style gates was the man who designed the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty, Richard M. Hunt. Hunt proposed ornate gates along the park’s southern edge that would lead into a landscaped plaza with a decorative fountain and curved stairway (similar to that of Bethesda Terrace).

Central Park designers Olmsted and Vaux fought the arguments for ornate gates and instead implemented a series of low sandstone walls. The walls would stand on each side of the park’s eighteen original entrances and be given a name descriptive of the city of New York and its citizens. Although many of the entrances would not carry their formal names etched into the walled entrances, this was rectified in the 1990s when the city added names to all park entrances.

Central Park Gates

The eighteen original gates that led into and out of Central Park (and their general location) were:

  1. Artisans’ Gate – Central Park South / Sixth Avenue
  2. Artists’ Gate – Central Park South / Seventh Avenue
  3. Boys’ Gate – Central Park West / W. 100th Street
  4. Childrens’ Gate – Fifth Avenue / E. 64th Street
  5. Engineers’ Gate – Fifth Avenue / E. 90th Street
  6. Farmers’ Gate – Central Park North / Malcolm X Boulevard
  7. Girls’ Gate – Fifth Avenue / E. 102nd Street
  8. The Gate of All Saints – Central Park West / W. 96th Street
  9. Hunters’ Gate – Central Park West / W. 81st Street
  10. Mariners’ Gate – Central Park West / W. 85th Street
  11. Merchants’ Gate – Columbus Circle
  12. Miners’ Gate – Fifth Avenue / E. 79th Street
  13. Pioneers’ Gate – Fifth Avenue / E. 110th Street
  14. Scholars’ Gate – Fifth Avenue / E. 60th Street
  15. Strangers’ Gate – Central Park West / W. 106th Street
  16. Warriors’ Gate – Central Park North / Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard
  17. Women’s Gate – Central Park West / W. 72nd Street
  18. Woodmen’s Gate – Fifth Avenue / E. 96th Street

Three later gates were added that were not named as per Vaux and Olmsted’s original naming convention. One of these is Naturalist Gate which is located near Central Park West and W. 77th Street. Another is the aptly named 76th Street Gate located along Fifth Avenue. This was a later addition by Park Commissioner Robert Moses who chose not to follow the proviso laid by Vaux and Olmsted in adhering to their naming convention. Lastly the Inventors’ Gate at Fifth Avenue and E. 72nd Street was oddly named Children’s Gate (one of the original names), and then later redubbed to its current name in the 1950s.

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  • Address: Central Park, New York City, NY
  • Cost: Free