It’s a rainy day, but hopefully the 150th anniversary of the day Central Park’s design was selected won’t be a total washout. In honor of America’s first major public park, the city has christened the 72nd Street Cross Drive “The Olmsted & Vaux Way” after the park’s two architects, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.
A few weeks ago, The Observer sat down with the author of Creating Central Park, Morrison Heckscher of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to discuss the founding of what he believes to be one of the great works of public art and how the Olmsted-Vaux duo beat out 33 other design schemes with a plan that unified the East and West sides of Manhattan.
The Arsenal on 64th Street and Fifth Avenue is kicking off an exhibition of the original large-scale drawings of the architects’ plan and 71 photographs of the park collected over the years. “Celebrating Greensway” runs through June 19.