There are 20 gates to Central Park, but most people don’t even know they exist. But what of Central Park’s original gates? There is no charge for entering the park, and no turnstiles or gatehouses are visible as you walk through the openings in the low stone wall along its borders. But if you look closely, you will see that some entrances have names carved into the sandstone: Scholars’ Gate, Hunters’ Gate, Explorers’ Gate.
The names were chosen in 1862 by the park’s commissioners to try to represent the people who might be using the park and their professions. They represent a bygone era.
Enter at the Children’s Gate on Fifth Avenue near 76th Street: there is a playground, and if you wander between this gate and Inventors’ Gate at West 72nd Street you will see the statues of Alice in Wonderland and Hans Christian Andersen. There is the model boat pond to conquer if you can ship aboard a vessel heading out to sea. For the space of one’s childhood, perhaps, it is possible to believe in growing up to become an inventor.
Opposite Merchants’ Gate at Columbus Circle, it is eerily appropriate to see the new AOL Time Warner Center towering higher every day as a testament to the power of the American corporation.
Strangers’ Gate at 106th Street and Central Park West marks an entrance opposite the building once thought as a haunted castle. A black slate stairway leads into the park at Strangers’ Gate, and to enter the park there is to enter a fairy tale: a wilderness welcoming all strangers.
Though all the gates were named in the 19th century, most of them didn’t receive their lettering until a few years ago, the final inscription was completed in December 1999.
There is no Clerks’ Gate, a common profession at the time. Also there is no Lawyers’ Gate, Therapists’ Gate or Computer Programmers’ Gate.
There are 18 original names in all: Artisans’, Artists’, Boys’, Children’s, Engineers’, Farmers’, Girls’, The Gate of All Saints, Hunters’, Mariners’, Merchants’, Miners’, Pioneers’, Scholars’, Strangers’, Warriors’, Women’s and Woodmen’s.
Names have been added to the original eighteen, but I believe this is the full, current list with their locations:
East 110th Street Pioneers’ Gate
East 102nd Street Girls’ Gate
West 100th Street Boys’ Gate
East 96th Street Woodman’s Gate
East 90th Street Engineers’ Gate
West 85th Street Mariners’ Gate
East 79th Street Miners’ Gate
West 77th Street Naturalists’ Gate
East 72nd Street Inventors’ Gate
East 64th Street Children’s Gate
East 60th Street Scholars’ Gate
Sixth Avenue Artists’ Gate
Seventh Avenue Artisans’ Gate
Columbus Circle Merchants’ Gate
West 72nd Street Women’s Gate
West 81st Street Hunters’ Gate
West 96th Street Gate of all Saints
West 106th Street Strangers’ Gate
Adam Clayton Powell Blvd Warriors’ Gate
Lenox Avenue Farmers’ Gate
I have not photographed all of them and will when I am in the area. It is a large park!
Source article NY Times