Central Park is a large urban park on Manhattan’s Upper West and Upper East Sides. It is the city’s sixth-biggest Park (843 acres) (341 ha). As of 2016, it was the world’s most shot destination, with an estimated 42 million yearly visits. Click for more info
The 778-acre Park was granted in 1853 after many requests in the 1840s (315 ha). The “Greensward Plan” by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won the park design competition in 1857. Existing buildings, including a majority-Black village called Seneca Village, were confiscated and demolished. The initial parts of the Park were established in late 1858. The Park was expanded in 1859 and finished in 1876. New York City parks commissioner Robert Moses began a drive to clean up Central Park in the 1930s after a period of deterioration. To prevent further degradation, the Central Park Conservancy began refurbishing areas of the Park in the 1980s.
The Ramble and Lake, Hallett Nature Sanctuary, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, Sheep Meadow, Wollman Rink, Central Park Carousel, and Central Park Zoo are the main attractions. The biodiverse environment comprises over a hundred plant and animal species. In addition, services and events like Shakespeare in the Park are available for recreation. Central Park is serviced by public transit and has roads and pathways.
UNESCO has designated it a World Heritage Site. In addition, central Park was named a National Historic Landmark in 1963 and an NYC scenic landmark in 1974. The Central Park Conservancy has been managing the Park since 1998, under a public-private collaboration with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. The Conservancy, a non-profit organization, raises central Park’s yearly running budget.
With 42 million visits in 2016, Central Park is the most frequented urban Park in the United States and one of the most visited tourist destinations globally. However, the number of individual visitors is substantially smaller; according to a study published by the Central Park Conservancy in 2011, between eight and nine million people visited Central Park in 2011, with 37 to 38 million visits total. In 2009, 25 million people visited, up to 12.3 million in 1973. Learn more about New York here
Tourists account for a far smaller fraction of overall visitors: one-fifth of the 25 million park visitors reported in 2009 were believed to be tourists. A similar percentage of park utilization was reported in a 2011 Conservancy report: just 14% of visits are by persons visiting Central Park for the first time. According to the survey, approximately two-thirds of tourists are frequent park visitors who attend at least once a week. Around 70% of visitors are New York City residents. Furthermore, peak traffic occurs on summer weekends. Most tourists utilize the Park for passive leisure activities like strolling or sightseeing rather than vigorous sports.
The Central Park Conservancy aims to maintain and celebrate Central Park as a haven from the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life, boosting everyone’s pleasure and well-being. Call (212) 310-6600 for additional information.