The Central Park Mall is a large pedestrian esplanade (an ‘esplanade’ meaning a long, open, level area, usually next to a river or large body of water, where people may walk). It leads to Bethesda Fountain and provides the only purely formal feature in the naturalistic original plan of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux for Central Park.
The Mall was designed so that a carriage could drop its passengers at the south end, then
drive around and pick them up again overlooking Bethesda Terrace, whose view of the Lake
and Ramble formed the "ultimatum of interest" in Olmsted and Vaux's vision.