the-mall

The Mall

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.
The Mall borders a couple of interesting places – Naumburg Bandshell and Rumsey Playfield, with both being popular with young artists and musicians.
A curious fact about the Mall is that it’s one of the last and largest remaining stands of American Elm trees in North America. The elms form a cathedral-like canopy above the Park's widest pedestrian pathway and are one of the Park’s most photographed features.

Taking care of these trees is a full-time job for the Central Park Conservancy's tree crew. Each of the Park's thousands of trees are entered into a database, so they can be monitored by the Conservancy. The trees of Central Park have an important impact on the urban environment. They improve the quality of our air and water; reduce stormwater runoff, flooding, and erosion; and lower the air temperature in the summer. This is why Central Park is called the lungs of New York City.
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