The Central Park: Original Designs for New York’s Greatest Treasure

Central Park, a scenic landmark known worldwide, beloved by New Yorkers, and especially claimed by Upper West Siders, was the result of a design competition won in 1858 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux over 32 other designs. (Fun fact: In a maneuver students of all ages will recognize, with the deadline of April 1, 1858, Olmsted and Vaux delivered their plans to the Arsenal building so late on the evening of March 31 that they had to leave them with the janitor. Whew!)

So what was in that the original, competition-winning entry? And how closely does today’s park resemble the ideas in the winning “Plan Number 33”?

Cynthia Brenwall shares the incredible visual story of the creation of our 840-acre wonder with Landmark West, in a live Zoom presentation based on her book, The Central Park: Original Designs for New York’s Greatest Treasure. You’ll be amazed at the history Cynthia unearthed in the unparalleled collection of original designs for Central Park in the New York City Municipal Archives. We’ll see the original winning competition entry with its meticulously detailed plans, maps, elevations, hand-colored lithographs, photographs, and mechanical drawings of a wide range of elements and features—many built, and others never realized.

Want to see Central Park like you never have before? Meet us for a techno-wander down the paths of Central Park, circa 1858 and beyond…


Cynthia S. Brenwall, a conservator and art historian, has worked for the New York City Municipal Archives since 2012. During her tenure there she has cared for some of New York’s most important historical documents including the conservation and documentation of the Central Park Collection.











When: Wed., June 3, 2020 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Where: Landmark West!
45 W. 67th St.
212-496-8110
Price: $10 for non-members
Buy tickets/get more info now
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Central Park, a scenic landmark known worldwide, beloved by New Yorkers, and especially claimed by Upper West Siders, was the result of a design competition won in 1858 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux over 32 other designs. (Fun fact: In a maneuver students of all ages will recognize, with the deadline of April 1, 1858, Olmsted and Vaux delivered their plans to the Arsenal building so late on the evening of March 31 that they had to leave them with the janitor. Whew!)

So what was in that the original, competition-winning entry? And how closely does today’s park resemble the ideas in the winning “Plan Number 33”?

Cynthia Brenwall shares the incredible visual story of the creation of our 840-acre wonder with Landmark West, in a live Zoom presentation based on her book, The Central Park: Original Designs for New York’s Greatest Treasure. You’ll be amazed at the history Cynthia unearthed in the unparalleled collection of original designs for Central Park in the New York City Municipal Archives. We’ll see the original winning competition entry with its meticulously detailed plans, maps, elevations, hand-colored lithographs, photographs, and mechanical drawings of a wide range of elements and features—many built, and others never realized.

Want to see Central Park like you never have before? Meet us for a techno-wander down the paths of Central Park, circa 1858 and beyond…


Cynthia S. Brenwall, a conservator and art historian, has worked for the New York City Municipal Archives since 2012. During her tenure there she has cared for some of New York’s most important historical documents including the conservation and documentation of the Central Park Collection.

Buy tickets/get more info now