Without question New York's Central Park is one of the great urban parks in the world. The massive park has a distinguish history. The green space in the heart of Manhattan has hosted some of the great concerts of our time, massive protests by people seeking freedom and peace, marriages, historic crimes and amazing cultural events.
While most New Yorkers can share with you not only their personal moments but also their favorite places in the park.
Business Insider recently wrote about less known spots in the Park. Here are some of them.
1. The Survey Bolt
The bolt is believed to be one of the original survey bolts from when the Manhattan grid was first planned in 1811. As Central Park was not a part of the original plan, street intersection points may have been marked but left to remain since no intersection was actually built here.
The bolt is known to be in the park, but the exact location is kept a secret for fear that it will be stolen or destroyed. After some intense searching of both the internet and park, you might be able to find it like we did.
2. A Full Loaded Revolutionary War Cannon!
This cannon was used on a British ship which sank in the East River. After an anonymous donation in 1865, it was installed at Fort Clinton in 1905 where it remained on public display until 1996 when the Central Park Conservancy brought it indoors to protect it from vandalism. In January 2013, workers were cleaning it when they found it was fully loaded with gunpowder and a cannonball!
It’s currently undergoing conservation work and will be returned to Fort Clinton for public viewing. The gunpowder has been removed but the cannonball will stay
3. The Town of Seneca
There was once a thriving village called Seneca located in what became Central Park, between 81st and 89th Street on the West Side. It wasn’t a shantytown or slum, like the rest of the settlements.
This was a full fledged middle class town with over 260 residents, several churches, and a school. With wooden houses on assigned lots, it gave black residents what they needed to vote — their own land.
However in 1853 the city passed a bill authorizing the takeover of the land and paid the settlers off. By 1857, when the park officially opened, the settlement was gone
4. The Ramble (Indian) Cave
The Ramble Cave, also known as the Indian Cave, was created from a natural cave discovered during park construction and used by lake rowers who could leave their boats to explore the area. Unfortunately, in the early 1900s, the cave was the site of several crimes and at least one suicide.
In 1929 The New York Times reported that 335 men had been arrested for “annoying women” in the park, especially at the cave.
Eventually, the cave became too dangerous to maintain, so it was sealed at both ends and the inlet was filled. Today, the cave is inaccessible but the entrance is visible from the path above and it adds a feeling of mystery to the area
5. The Secret Christmas Tree For Pets
This existence of this tree is kept hush hush, and the locations left deliberately vague but we happened to stumble upon the annual decoration of the tree this year
6. Historic Trees
When Central Park was built, the city planted more than 270,000 trees and shrubs and preserved a handful of trees that were original to the area. Today, only about 150 trees are left from the time of Olmsted and Vaux, but many of the trees acquired over the years have a unique story.
These Yoshino Cherry trees along the east side of the Reservoir may be the original trees presented as a gift to the United States by Japan in 1912.
They are among the first trees to bloom in the spring, before the Kwanzan Cherry. The delicate blossoms drop quickly before the trees green out, and stay leafy for the rest of the season
There are at least five waterfalls in Central Park, all completely man-made, and most of which are located in the Ravine.
The water that flows here is actually New York City drinking water that comes from a 48-inch pipe hidden by the rocks at the Pool Grotto on West 100th Street