What’s holding Central Park together?

Answer: The four Corners!

Grand Army Plaza, Columbus Circle, Frederick Douglass Circle, and the Duke Ellington Circle are at the four corner’s of this famous park.

The two most popular corner landmarks are the Grand Army Plaza and the Columbus Circle. The Frederick Douglas and Duke Ellinton circles are further north and usually less frequented. There are 20 gates (entrances) that open up into the park.

I encourage you to go well within the edges of the park, as the it is a favorite place of both tourists and locals alike and has ponds, sculptures, archways, meadows, and gardens, all within these four corners. There are 58 miles (93.3 km) of paths in Central Park each invites you to wander.

The Grand Army Plaza (Manhattan)

Southeast corner of Central Park at Central Park South (West 59th) and 5th Avenue.

Not many people realize that the plaza is bounded on the north by 60th Street, which contains the Scholar’s Gate entrance to Central Park; on the west by Central Park and the Plaza Hotel; on the south by 58th Street. These older photos show the boundaries more clearly.

I must tell you that until I found this photo I never knew where the plaza boundaries were. When walking through the Plaza you don’t get the feeling of how large it truly is. I think the reason for this is that it is broken up by busy roads.

The centerpiece of the plaza’s northern half (carved out of the southeastern corner of Central Park), is the equestrian statue of William Tecumseh Sherman 
while the principal feature of the plaza’s southern half is the Pulitzer Fountain, topped with a bronze statue of the Roman goddess Pomona

Story:  It seems, there was some controversy concerning the Pulitzer Fountain. The widow of the great Cornelius Vanderbilt ( Bergdorf-Building site was once her mansion) objected to the statues depiction of her naked derriere. The view from her bedroom looked north towards the Park.  The problem was that now it also had an unobstructed view of the statue’s naked posterior.  As the story goes, in heated defiance Alice Vanderbilt ordered that her bedroom be moved a full city block to the south to protect her gaze from the offending statue.

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Take time to enter the park from the Plaza and you will find a Pond there to welcome you with its serene atmosphere. You can walk along the water’s edge and watch ducks swimming, pass by the secluded Hallett Nature Sanctuary where small animals and birds thrive, then cross over the stone arch of Gapstow Bridge. The bridge offers wonderful views of New York City’s skyscrapers and the Plaza Hotel, making it a popular photo location in Central Park.

Gapstow bridge is the most iconic bridge of Central Park with phenomenal views of the midtown skyline
Southern part of the Park.

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Columbus Circle

I imagine that Columbus Circle is familiar to most people visiting NYC. Often seen on TV as a place for people to protest and highlighted during the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. It is a very busy traffic circle that governs two-way Central Park South, west, and 8th Avenue traffic, and southbound Broadway traffic (Broadway becomes two-way north of it

Debate continues to rage over the fate of the Christopher Columbus Statue  is intended to celebrate the country’s Italian-American population, critics say Columbus’s history of colonialism and genocide are reasons for its removal.

Traffic Circle
Inside Time Warner building

Just opposite of the circle is the Merchant’s Gate with the enormous Maine Monument, which commemorates the sinking of the battleship Maine in 1898. The monument honors the 258 American sailors who perished when the battleship Maine exploded in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, then under Spanish rule. The bronze  for the sculpture group on the top  of the pylon    came from metal recovered from the guns of the Maine. There is memorial plaque on the park side of the monument. This  plaque was cast in metal salvaged from the ship.

Story: My guess is that unless some one told you that it was a Maine Memorial Monument, You would never know it from the design. Part of the Maine is also displayed within Arlington cemetery in Washington, DC

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This part of the park has open fields and leisurely paths. However, it might be time to Look inside the Time Warner Building. The view from inside is quite dramatic.

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Now we have two remaining corners to reach.

The other two corners are a bit further away. The distance from here to Frederick Douglass Circle is 2.5 miles

My suggestion

Schedule a visit to the North part of the park at another time.

There is much to see “up north” and you can enjoy its difference from the southern part of the park.

Here is a map that will show you the area around the remaining two corners of the parks.

Frederick Douglass Circle

(west 110th Street and Central Park West)

Author, statesman, and orator Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was born into slavery in Maryland. On September 3, 1838 he escaped by boarding a train disguised as a seaman, and traveled to Delaware and Philadelphia before arriving at a safe house in New York City via the Underground Railroad.

He later purchased his freedom while in the north and became renowned for his oratory in the abolitionist cause.

Frederick Douglass Circle is relatively new. Though the circle was named for Douglass in 1950, construction of the central plaza did not begin until 2004 and was unfinished until 2010.

Frederick Douglass Circle is relatively new. Though the circle was named for Douglass in 1950, construction of the central plaza did not begin until 2004 and was unfinished until 2010.

Duke Ellington Circle

(West 110th Street and 5th Avenue)

The striking 30-foot tall bronze Ellington Memorial shows the Duke standing beside his piano facing east, on a pedestal supported by three columns among a group of trees.

The intersection of 5th Avenue and East 110th Street, Central Park North, actually has accumulated three names over the years:

Duke Ellington the pop/jazz immortal, who popularized of “Take the A Train”

Earnesto Antonio “Tito” Puente the man who was synonymous with salsa.

James J Frawley a Tammy Hall District Leader (no photo available)

Story: Duke Ellington lived in the Upper West Side in several locations, so it’s slightly unusual that his memorial is here at an intersection on what’s technically the East Side. Whereas, five-time Grammy Award winner  Ernesto Antonio “Tito” Puente lived on East 110th as a child and youth from 1923 to 1938, and lived in Spanish Harlem for much of his life.

Of course to really enjoy Central Park you need to go inside. Happy Trails to you…

NYC – A Brief stop at the Time Warner Building – Columbus Circle

 

I had an errand to do near West 57th Street Eighth Avenue and on the way back home I passed a building that was definitely crammed in between two larger buildings what might be the smallest mid-town building .

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Opposite it were these “stoned” people.

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I then decided to stop at the  Time Warner Building (Columbus Circle). The Time Warner Building at Columbus Circle is the epitome of high class NY. This shopping center boasts three floors of high end shops including Cole Haan, Coach, and Hugo Boss. The entire mall really gives the sense of luxury and beautiful sights to just take in. The entire outside wall is made of see-through glass. Always a photo opportunity. It’s just a nice airy space. I recommend a visit. It doesn’t matter  whether you are a tourist or a resident.

 

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There are plenty of shops that have very upscale clothing and accessories. So here is glimpse as I walked through the building..