New York’s streets offer one straight line after another, but in Central Park such direct thoroughfares are vigorously frowned upon. After, all the park is meant to be a leafy oasis from the hustle and bustle of city streets, the consummate garden, which through careful use of design and artifice manages to look more natural than nature itself.
But the park does have two perfectly straight lines, and they have caused the Central Park Conservancy no small amount of worry over the years. In fact, the park’s original designers even feared that the half-mile stretch of East River drive between 85th and 96th Streets might become a favorite spot for horse carriage racing. Egads!
“On the east of the new reservoir, the park is diminished to a mere passage-way for connection, and it will be difficult to obtain an agreeable effect in this part of the design,” Frederick Law Olmsted despaired in 1858. Read More