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FANTASTIC 4 NEGATIVES EACH MEASURING 4X5 INCHES BY FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPHER ARTHUR LEIPZIGArthur Leipzig was an American photographer who specialized in street photography and was known for his photographs of New York City.Photographer Arthur LeipzigDate June 20, 44Story Leonard H. Marshall returns to the Merchant MarineNames (L to R)DUPLICATELeonard H. Marshall goes back to :ea for the first time since April 9,when his tanker was sunk and he was burned severely by Gasoline on his armand legs. parshall was radio operator on the tanker and a member of theKadio Officers Union , Marine vision of the Commercial Telegraphers Union 1He worked for the U.S. Army signal Corps from June 8, 43 until about a wetago as an inspector, Although his hands are not completely cured he feel:that he is fit enough to go back to sea the only work he really wants toPix were taken at the Recruitment and Manning section or the War shippingAdministration where Marshall came in answer to the call for skilled personnelto return to sea. He will ship out however through his union. He chose tofor his induction because it s his birthday, He is 57 years old top Leipzig (October 25, 1918 – December 5, 2014) was an American photographer who specialized in street photography and was known for his photographs of New York City.[1][2]
CareerLeipzig was born in Brooklyn. After sustaining a serious injury to his right hand while working at a glass wholesaler, Leipzig joined the Photo League where he studied photography, took part in Sid Grossman's Documentary Workshop, taught Advanced Technique classes for three years, and exhibited his work.[3] From 1942 until 1946 he was a staff photographer for PM. He also studied under Paul Strand before quitting the League to pursue a career as a freelance photojournalist.
In 1955 Leipzig's 1943 photograph King of the Hill, depicting two little boys challenging each other on a sand heap, was selected by Edward Steichen[4] for the world-touring exhibition The Family of Man at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, that was seen by 9 million visitors.[5]
Leipzig was a professor of art and the director of photography at the CW Post Campus of Long Island University from 1968–1991.[6] In an effort to build his department and enhance the quality of photographic techniques, Leipzig recruited two well known photojournalists, Louis Stettner and Ken Johnson (formerly a photo editor with Black Star) to his staff. He also recruited the now, highly regarded female photographer, Christine Osinski.
Leipzig contributed his work to many publications including Fortune, Look, Parade, and Natural History, while continuing to pursue his independent projects.[6]
In 2004, he won the Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Fine Art Photography.[3]
Leipzig died in Sea Cliff, New York on December 5, 2014, aged 96.[7]
ExhibitionsSelected solo exhibitions2005 Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery, UMBC (Baltimore)[6]2005–2006 "On Assignment", Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, MS)[6][8]2007 "On Assignment: A Retrospective", Photographic Gallery (New York)[8]2008 "Arthur Leipzig: Next Stop New York", Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum (Aachen).[9]2009 "Arthur Leipzig: Next Stop New York", Städtische Galerie Iserlohn (Iserlohn)[8]Snow Scene, Prospect Park, c. 1872–1887. George Bradford BrainerdSnow Scene, Prospect Park, c. 1872–1887. George Bradford Brainerd
Rose Arbor in Winter, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, c. 1872–1887. George Bradford BrainerdRose Arbor in Winter, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, c. 1872–1887. George Bradford Brainerd
Water Tower, Prospect Park, c. 1903–1910. Eugene WemlingerWater Tower, Prospect Park, c. 1903–1910. Eugene Wemlinger
Early 20th century
1901 map of Prospect Park, published in the Parks Department's 1902 Annual ReportThe city of Brooklyn merged with Manhattan and other outlying boroughs in 1898, creating the City of Greater New York. By the end of the century, Prospect Park saw about 15 million visitors per year.[30] Though people were officially banned from hosting picnics and other large eating events in Prospect Park, the rule was not enforced for several years until 1903, when a surge of visitors from Manhattan led to an increase in luncheons being hosted.[52] In 1907, lights were installed to deter couples from kissing or other intimate activity within the park.[53] At the same time, the city embarked on an improvement program at Prospect Park by cleaning out the landscape, constructing the Bartel-Pritchard Square entrance, and removing an old boathouse that had been supplanted by the Boathouse on the Lullwater.[54]
The construction of structures continued in the first decade of the 20th century. The neoclassical Peristyle (1904), Boathouse (1905), Tennis House (1910), and Willink Comfort Station (1912) were all designed by Helmle, Hudswell and Huberty, alumni and proteges of McKim, Mead, and White.[8]: 130 [51] The entrances into Prospect Park that were constructed during this time were also in the neoclassical style.[8]: 130 [15] Two now-demolished structures were also constructed on the peninsula, the Model Yacht Club House (1900–1956) and a shelter (1915 – c. 1940s).[15] Olmsted was said to have been "distressed" by these modifications to the park's original plan.[30]
From World War I to the mayoral administration of Fiorello La Guardia in the 1930s, investment in park infrastructure declined. A two-story brick building was opened in the Menagerie in 1916, housing monkeys, some small mammals, and several birds.[55] After the end of World War I, a memorial commemorating fallen soldiers was proposed;[56] it was dedicated in 1921.[57] The only other structures to be built during this period were the Picnic House (1927) and a small comfort station at the Ocean Avenue entrance (1930), both designed by J. Sarsfield Kennedy.[15] A golf course was proposed for the Long Meadow in the 1920s, but eventually, it was built on the Peninsula, abutting the Lake at the park's southern end.[36] In 1932, a faux Mount Vernon was built in Prospect Park to commemorate the bicentennial of George Washington's birthday.[58] However, Prospect Park was in stasis for the most part, and like many of the city's parks, it was run year-after-year with declining budgets. The New York Times observed that by the 1930s, "generations of Parks Department officials had lived well and got rich by diverting maintenance funds, and the park showed the result of a half century of abuse and neglect."[59]
Robert Moses eraIn January 1934, newly elected Mayor Fiorello La Guardia appointed Robert Moses as the commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks (NYC Parks), a new organization that eliminated borough park commissioners.[60] Moses would remain commissioner for the next twenty-six years, leaving significant impacts on the city's parks. Moses used federal monies made available to relieve Depression-era unemployment, and this resulted in a boom in construction at Prospect Park.[21][61] The Prospect Park Zoo opened in 1935 on the east side of the park, replacing the former Menagerie.[61] The Bandshell and five playgrounds were also constructed toward the end of the 1930s.[21][61] In addition, the Carousel was opened in 1949 as a gift from the foundation of the late philanthropist Michael Friedsam.[62][63] Moses also enacted new policies at the park, including a ban on sheep grazing at the Long Meadow.[22]: 16 [64]
During World War II, Prospect Park hosted a portion of the city's antiaircraft defense. Three hundred soldiers manned batteries, underground ammunition dumps, observation towers, repair shops and barracks around Swan Lake in the Long Meadow. Though the defenses were disbanded in 1944, traces of slit trenches and sandbagged gun emplacements could still be found several years afterward.[65]The Boathouse on the Lullwater, which was almost demolished in 1964In 1959, the southern third of the Long Meadow was graded and fenced off for ballfields.[15][66] Plans for the Kate Wollman Memorial Rink were approved the following year,[67] and the rink opened in December 1961.[68] The rink was built on a filled-in portion of Prospect Lake, necessitating the removal of Music Island and the panoramic view of the lake created by Olmsted and Vaux.[67] The playgrounds, ballfields, and skating rink reflected Moses' commitment to modernity and athletic recreation, coupled with only a limited appreciation of the park as a work of landscape architecture.[15] To make the park more visually appealing, NYC Parks also began to clear the area of weeds and invasive species, though this had the unintended effect of hastening erosion.[15][66][69]
It was not unusual in the Moses years, and especially the decade after his departure, to quietly remove underutilized or redundant structures. To do so was regarded as economical and prudent management. Several structures had been destroyed by the time Moses left his position as NYC Parks commissioner in May 1960. These included the Dairy, destroyed 1935;[15] Concert Grove House, demolished 1949;[70] Music Island, razed 1960;[71][72] the Flower Garden;[14] the Thatched Shelter, destroyed in the 1940s;[15][73] the Model Yacht Club, burned down in 1956;[15][73] and the Greenhouse Conservatories, taken apart in 1955.[74]
No park commissioner since Moses has been able to exercise the same degree of power, nor did NYC Parks remain as stable a position in the aftermath of his departure, with eight commissioners holding the office in the twenty years following. This instability, coupled with the 1975 New York City fiscal crisis, devastated the Parks Department. The department was staffed by 6,000 personnel in 1960, but consisted of just 2,800 permanent and 1,500 temporary workers by 1980. Much of Prospect Park suffered soil erosion and lack of maintenance caused the landscape to deteriorate. By 1979, park attendance dropped to two million, the lowest recorded level in the history of the park.[21]
Late 20th centuryThe demolition of Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan during 1963–1968 spawned a nascent historic preservation movement.[75] In September 1964, the Parks Department was within forty-eight hours of demolishing the Boathouse on the Lullwater.[15][76] At the time the structure was underutilized; the boat concession only operated on weekends and its peak traffic was fewer than ten people per hour.[77] However, the Boathouse shared many architectural design features with the famous station. A preservation group, The Friends of Prospect Park, including in its membership, poet and longtime Brooklyn resident Marianne Moore,[78] built public awareness over disappearing historical structures and threatened flora within the park. Public pressure induced Park Commissioner Newbold Morris to rescind the decision to demolish the Boathouse in December 1964.[79]
Projects to restore Prospect Park were taken up by the late 1960s. In 1965, the city allocated $450,000 to renovate the Vale of Cashmere and the Rose Garden ahead of Brooklyn's 300th anniversary, and the park's 100th anniversary, the following year.[80] Another $225,000 was allocated to renovate the boathouse, and $249,000 was allotted to overall renovations.[81] The city renovated part of the Long Meadow on the northwest side of the park, as well as the children's farm. However, some of the contracts were delayed, including renovations to the Boathouse and the tennis courts, as well as a reconstruction of the Music Pagoda, which had burned down in 1968.[82] By 1971, the city had spent $4 million to renovate Prospect Park, including renovating the Boathouse and dredging the lake. The Rose Garden and the Vale of Cashmere had also been re-landscaped.[83] Also part of the renovation was a restoration of the Prospect Park Carousel from 1971 to 1974,[84] and the exterior of the Boathouse was restored in 1979.[85]
By the 1970s, Prospect Park was beset by crime; a 1974 report found that 44 percent of city residents would warn people to stay away from the park under any circ*mstances.[36] The mayoral administration of Ed Koch formed plans in 1980 to turn over the administration of the troubled Prospect Park Zoo to the Wildlife Conservation Society.[86] Over the next seven years, the city invested $17 million in cleaning up the park,[87] including $10 million in federal funds from a Community Development Block Grant.[88] Annual visitor numbers had nearly tripled to 5 million between 1980 and 1987.[87] During this period, Prospect Park also received two historic designations: it was made a New York City Historic Landmark on November 25, 1975,[4] and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 17, 1980.[3]
The Prospect Park Alliance, a non-profit organization, was created in April 1987 based on the model of the Central Park Conservancy, which had helped restore Central Park in the 1980s. Shortly afterward, NYC Parks began entering into restoration projects with the organization.[87] The Alliance's first major project was the $550,000 restoration of the Carousel in 1987–1989. The carousel had not operated since 1983, and its original horse-shaped seats were removed during the restoration.[89] Nine years later, in 1996, it started a $4.5 million restoration of the Ravine.[12][36] The Boathouse was also restored again in the late 1990s due to deterioration of the exterior terracotta.[85] The National Audubon Society signed a lease for the Boathouse in 2000,[90] and the building became the site of the nation's first urban Audubon society.[91] The restoration of the Harmony Playground and Bandshell was completed the same year.[92] However, other parts of Prospect Park remained neglected, such as the Eastern side of the park, where the surrounding community was generally poorer than the western side.[93]
Early 21st century
A promenade facing the lake, built in the first decade of the 21st centuryBy 2000, the Wollman Rink was deteriorating, and there was a need to replace it.[94] The Alliance soon formed plans to restore Music Island and the original shoreline, both obliterated by the construction of the original rink in 1960.[95][96] Several Moses-era playgrounds and the Bandshell were retained because their venues were popular. Original rustic summer houses were restored or recreated on the shores of Prospect Park Lake, along the Lullwater and in the Ravine.[97] As part of the restoration plans, the Wollman Rink was to be replaced by two rinks in the new LeFrak Center, a year-round recreational facility.[97] Work on the LeFrak Center began in 2009, and the Wollman Rink had been demolished by 2011.[98] The Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside was completed in December 2013 at a cost of $74 million.[99][100] As part of the Wollman Rink's replacement, plans for the restored Music Island were announced in 2009.[101] The Chaim Baier Music Island, and the Shelby White and Leon Levy Esplanade overlooking the island, were restored using a $10 million grant, and were officially rededicated in October 2012.[71][72]
The Prospect Park Alliance subsequently completed or proposed more restoration projects for the park.[102] Long Meadow ball field 1 was rebuilt between 2013 and 2014.[103] The following year, the Alliance announced some projects on Prospect Park's Eastern side, including the $200,000 restoration of Battle Pass. The Alliance also intended to restore the water-damaged Oriental Pavilion for $2 million and replace fencing on Flatbush Avenue for $2.4 million.[102] In 2016, the Alliance also received $3.2 million from NYC Parks' Parks Without Borders program to construct two new entrances on Flatbush Avenue, the park's first new entrances in over 70 years,[104][105] as well as rebuild the Willink entrance.[106] During the city's 2016 fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2016, politicians also contributed funds toward various restoration projects in the park. These included $2.5 million for renovating Lefferts Historic House, $2 million to rebuild pathways, $1.75 million for replacing fencing on Ocean Avenue, $750,000 for renovating the ballfields on Long Meadow, and $500,000 for the Carousel's restoration. In addition, $100,000 was earmarked for the installation of an experimental running surface on Park Drive, and through a participatory budgeting program, residents of the surrounding communities allocated funds for other projects such as new drinking fountains, a dog run, community barbecue sites, and an aquatic weed harvester.[107][108] Also in 2016, as part of a project to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the Prospect Park Alliance used goats to clean up the shrubbery in woodlands around the Vale of Cashmere,[109] then re-landscaped the sites at a cost of $727,000.[102]
The Well House, located on the Lake, reopened in 2017 as a composting restroom,[110][111] and the Dog Beach along the watercourse's Upper Pool was renovated.[112] The same year, the Alliance received funds to renovate the Parade Ground, the Tennis House, and ball fields.[113] The Alliance also announced an upcoming renovation of the Rose Garden.[114] Ball fields 6 and 7 were renovated and reopened in 2017,[115] while ball fields 4 and 5 reopened in late 2020.[116] Construction started on the Flatbush Avenue fence repairs in 2018, and the new entrances were slated to start construction in early 2019.[105][117] Construction of a dog run in the Parade Ground also started in August 2019,[118] and the dog run opened in July 2020.[119] The Concert Grove Pavilion reopened in April 2021 after a one-year renovation.[120][121] That December, a $40 million renovation of the Vale of Cashmere was announced.[122][123] The last two ball fields on Long Meadow reopened in early 2023 after several years of renovations.[124][125]
By mid-2023, the New York City government was considering erecting tents in Prospect Park to temporarily house asylum seekers. This move came after the federal government repealed an order authorizing Title 42 expulsions of migrants, which had been implemented during the COVID-19 | © OpenStreetMapMap of notable buildings and structures at Prospect Park (note: not all entrances shown). Click on points for more details.This map: viewtalkeditProspect Park occupies 526 acres (213 ha) in central Brooklyn. It is bound by Prospect Park West and the neighborhood of Park Slope to the northwest; Prospect Park Southwest and the Windsor Terrace neighborhood to the southwest and west; Parkside Avenue, Ocean Avenue, Flatbush Avenue, and the neighborhood of Flatbush to the south and southeast; and Grand Army Plaza and the neighborhood of Prospect Heights to the north.[5]
DesignFrederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux engineered Prospect Park to recreate in real space the pastoral, picturesque, and aesthetic ideals expressed in contemporary The overall design was inspired partially by Birkenhead Park in the United Kingdom.[36] Prospect Park had recent precedents in the pastoral style, notably Mount Auburn Cemetery near Boston and Green-Wood Cemetery a few blocks away.[19] Olmsted and Vaux felt they had greater success in Brooklyn because of the lack of obstacles there, but they were also assisted in part by park commissioner James Stranahan's patronage and support of their plan.[8]: 219–220 
The two designers wanted visitors to be able to traverse Prospect Park with a myriad of perspectives so that the features could be enjoyed in any order.[19] Olmsted was more involved with the general design of Prospect Park, while Vaux was more involved with specific details.[36] They created the large Long Meadow out of hilly upland pasture interspersed with peat bogs. They also moved and planted trees, hauled topsoil and created a vast unfolding turf with trees placed both separately and in groups. The designers wanted Lookout Hill to be a place of broad views out over Prospect Lake, the farmland beyond, and the bay and ocean in the distance.[15] To create an illusion of an expansive space, Olmsted and Vaux designed the paths in Prospect Park to be meandering.[36]
LayoutIn Olmsted and Vaux's final plan for the park, it was divided into three distinct zones: an open section, a wooded section, and a waterside section. The Parade Ground at the far southwestern corner was excluded from the system of zones.[15][19][128]
The first zone consisted of the Long Meadow, a wide open space along the west side of the park.[129] It contains two entrances through tunnels: Meadowport Arch and Endale Arch.[128] The Third Street Playground, Harmony Playground, bandshell, and the picnic and tennis houses are also located here. West Drive traverses this section of Prospect Park.[129]
The second zone is the wooded area in the middle of the park called the Ravine, and contains the headwaters of the park's watercourse. In this zone, on the northeast side of the park, there are several points of interest: the Vale of Cashmere, the Rose Garden, the Zucker Natural Exploration Area, and the Prospect Park Zoo.[129] The area contains the Nethermead Arch, an elaborate triple-span bridge.[128] Quaker Hill and the Friends Cemetery are located near the southwest boundary of Prospect Park.[28] Lookout Hill, as well as a large open space called the Nethermead, are located to the south and east of Quaker Hill, respectively.[129] The Ravine also contains the Midwood, an old-growth forest incorporated into Prospect Park during its construction.[12][14][130]
The third zone is along the park's south side and consists of Prospect Lake, as well as a peninsula jutting eastward from the lake's northern shore.[129] It is the outlet for the Lullwater, a meandering stream.[128] The Lullwater contains the classical-style Boathouse, a city- and federally-designated landmark, on the Lullwater's Eastern shore. To the south, along the lake's Eastern shore, are the White Levy Esplanade, as well as the LeFrak Center at Lakeside, a multipurpose recreation center.[129] The LeFrak Center at Lakeside consists of a pair of one-story structures, which share a planted roof. The rink's ceiling contains abstract light-colored streaks on a blue background, which are intended to represent skaters' movements. Also part of the LeFrak Center is a building with a cafe, offices, and event space.[131]
Parkside Avenue, a roughly west–east street, divides the southwestern part of Prospect Park from the rest of the park. This detached sliver of parkland is bounded by Parkside Avenue to the north, Coney Island Avenue to the west, Caton Avenue to the south, and Parade Place to the east. It contains the Parade Ground, which has fifteen numbered courts and fields for various sports.[129]
Landscape featuresWatercourseThe Lake
WinterAll of the waterways in Prospect Park are part of a single man-made watercourse. A winding naturalistic stream channel with several ponds feeds a 60-acre (24 ha) lake at the south end of the park.[129] In designing the watercourse, Olmsted and Vaux also took advantage of the preexisting glacier-formed kettle ponds and lowland outwash plains to create a drainage basin centered around the waterway. They crafted the watercourse to include a steep, forested Ravine with significant river edge flora and fauna habitats.[15][132] As a result, the watercourse is able to accommodate significant bird and fish populations.[133]
Much of the watercourse is lined with vegetation that is designed to absorb precipitation and additional water flow.[132] Olmsted also included an expansive drainage system, which is still in use and extends under the Long Meadow, Ravine, and Nethermead.[36] About two-thirds of Prospect Park Lake's water typically evaporates. However, to prevent flooding after heavy precipitation, Prospect Park employees can control the outflow of water from the lake using a valve.[132][134]
By the mid-20th century, these artificial waterways and the steep slopes around them had lost their original design character. In 1994 the Prospect Park Alliance launched a 25-year $43-million restoration project for the watercourse.[12]
Smaller waterways
Binnen waterfallThe water in Prospect Park originates at the top of Fallkill Falls in the center of the park, just north of Quaker Hill and east of Long Meadow.[50][129] The Well House on the north side of the Lake originally provided the water for the watercourse, and was connected to an underground aquifer.[15][132] The Well House became outdated when Prospect Park was connected to the New York City water supply system in the early 20th century.[50][111][135] Today, Fallkill Falls is fed by a pipe from the city's water system.[132][134]
The water from Fallkill Falls runs into Fallkill Pool, past the Fallkill Bridge, through the Upper Pool and Lower Pool, where migratory birds rest and marsh and other water plants can be found.[50] The Upper Pool abuts a dog beach, while the Long Meadow is adjacent to the Lower Pool.[129] The water then passes under the Esdale Bridge, a footbridge over Ambergill Pond. The pond, and the Ambergill Falls just past it, was named by Olmsted and refers to the Old Norse word for "creek".[50] After passing through Ambergill Falls, the water flows under Rock Arch Bridge and past the Ravine, entering the Binnenwater, which is named after a Dutch word for "within".[22]: 64 [50] The waters then cascade beneath the Binnen Bridge to the Lullwater, a small pond that contains the Boathouse on its Eastern bank. The water then flows under the Lullwater and Terrace bridges to the Peninsula, which is managed both as bird sanctuary and recreational field.[50][129]
Prospect Park's lakeThe mouth of Prospect Park's watercourse is the artificial, 60-acre Prospect Lake (also known as Prospect Park Lake).[133] Prospect Lake includes several islands and is home to over 20 species of fish. Every year, the lake hosts the R.H. Macy's Fishing Contest,[136] a tradition that dates to 1947.[137] Though NYC Parks generally allows licensed anglers to fish, it maintains a catch and release policy to prevent depletion of the fish population.[138] In addition, visitors may explore the lake in kayaks and pedal boats, available at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside,[139] or the Independence, a replica of the original electric launch which took day-trippers around the lake in the 20th century.[140] On the shore of the lake, there are several "rustic shelters" that provide scenic views of the water.[73]
Ice skating, popularized in Central Park, was a key reason for including Prospect Lake in the design of the park's watercourse.[15] In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, red balls raised on the fronts of trolley cars signified that the ice was at least four inches thick.[141] Red Flags were also placed at Grand Army Plaza to indicate the ice's sufficient thickness.[142] Later, green Flags were used to indicate that the ice was thick enough, and red Flags indicated that the ice was too thin. Since then, safety concerns have ended skating on the lake; as a result of climate change, winters have become warmer in the 21st century compared to the 19th century, the ice on the lake has become too thin to accommodate skaters.[94] Ice skating moved to the Kate Wollman Rink in 1960, and again to the Lakeside Center in 2012.[97]
The Ravine
View of the watercourse inside the RavineA 146-acre (59 ha) section of Prospect Park's interior is known as the Ravine. The region contains the headwaters of the park's water system, as well as Brooklyn's only remaining old-growth forest, the Midwood.[12][14][130] Olmsted and Vaux saw the Ravine as the heart of Prospect Park and the centerpiece of mountainous tableaux similar to the Adirondack Mountains,[143] and designed it in a similar fashion to their Ramble in Central Park.[50] The perimeter of the area is a steep, narrow 100-foot (30 m) gorge. The watercourse goes through the Ravine en route to the Boathouse.[144]
The original design of the Ravine was more aesthetic than functional, and decades of deferred maintenance had degraded the Ravine and made it hard to drain. During the 1970s, the brush was trimmed in order to make it harder for muggers to hide, and by the 1990s, the stream had dried up.[36] In 1996, still recovering from decades of overuse that caused soil compaction and erosion, the Ravine and surrounding woodlands underwent a $4.5 million restoration.[12][69] The Ravine was opened for tours two years later.[69][144] By 2002, the Ravine had been partially restored and the restored section had been opened to the public.[144]
Directly south of the Ravine is a meadow called the Nethermead, which occupies much of the space along the western bank of the watercourse between Center and Wellhouse Drive.[129] To the southwest of the Nethermead is Lookout Hill, which occupies the remaining area between Center and Wellhouse Drives.[15][129]Southward view from the Nethermead Arches toward the NethermeadLong Meadow
A man and his dog enter Long Meadow from the westThe Long Meadow stretches down the western side of Prospect Park.[129] The meadow contains two playgrounds, the Tennis House, the Picnic House, a bandshell, a dog beach, and NYC Parks maintenance facilities.[15] In a contrast with the Ravine and the watercourse, the Long Meadow is mostly flat open space. As designed, it provided a visual buffer between the neighborhoods to the west and the interior of the park. During construction, Olmsted laid out hundreds of trees in meticulous patterns around the meadow.[15][64]
Originally, the Long Meadow hosted sports such as archery,[36] croquet,[41] bowling, football, baseball, and tennis.[15] To preserve the meadow's pastoral quality, sheep grazed on the meadow until the 1930s.[22]: 16 [64] Today, much of the Long Meadow is used for a variety of purposes.[22]: 16 [145] The southern part of the Long Meadow contains seven baseball fields.[129][145]
Fauna and flora
Prospect Park's Camperdown ElmAs of 2018, Prospect Park had 30,000 trees, comprising around 200 unique species.[146] With few exceptions, the trees in Prospect Park were mostly planted manually. In its earliest years, Prospect Park had maintained a nursery of trees and plants, from which over a hundred thousand specimens were eventually taken.[15][147] Now, Prospect Park Alliance regularly maintains the park's flora, removing invasive species and adding native plants.[147] Prospect Park contains four "great trees" that are specially recognized by NYC Parks. These include a Camperdown Elm south of the Boathouse, among the first planted in the United States; an American Hornbeam and a Japanese Pagodatree located near the Camperdown Elm; and an English Elm along West Drive.[147][148][149] In late 2011, an oak tree was planted in the park as a memorial to Brooklyn native Peter Steele, a member of the band Type O Negative who had died in 2010.[150]An oak tree was planted in memory of Type O Negative's Peter Steele in 2011 in Prospect Park. Fans of the band have hung tributes.Prospect Park also accommodates a significant bird population. Each year, hundreds of migratory bird species stop at the park, and during winters, urban birdwatchers have reported seeing 60 unique species at the park on a good day, and 100 unique species over a typical season.[22]: 94  Over the years, a total of 298 species have been recorded at Prospect Park, including 11 not seen at other city parks.[151]: 35  Though there are no official lists of birds that have been seen at the park, the Brooklyn Bird Club has kept records of the avian species seen there between 1967 and 1990.[151]: 34–35  Popular spots for birds included Lookout and Quaker Hills, the Ravine, the Vale of Cashmere, and Lily Pond.[15]
There are other fauna species in Prospect Park as well. In particular, the watercourse includes waterfowl, turtles, bullfrogs, fish, and crustacean species. In addition, squirrels are commonly seen in the park's trees.[15][22]: 94 [133] Sightings of butterflies are also common, and since the 1990s and 2000s, increasing numbers of bats have been seen in Prospect Park.[22]: 94 
Landmarks and structuresPlazas and entrancesThe Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch in Grand Army PlazaThe Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch in Grand Army Plaza
The columns at the park entrance outside Bartel-Pritchard SquareProspect Park is shaped roughly like a concave hexagon. There are three circles or plazas on the exterior corners of Prospect Park, all of which contain "major" park entrances.[15][152]: 7 (PDF p. 8) 
Major entrancesGrand Army Plaza is an oval plaza at the northern corner, at the junction of Prospect Park West, Flatbush Avenue, Eastern Parkway, and several side streets. Olmsted and Vaux had intended for the plaza to be the park's main entrance, and it was constructed along with the park during the late 1860s.[153][154] Grand Army Plaza's largest feature is the Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch, a large triumphal arch in the center of the oval, which was dedicated in 1892. The plaza also includes four Doric columns, built 1894–1896; the Bailey Fountain, constructed 1929–1932 on the site of two former fountains; and several statues of famous figures.[154]
Bartel-Pritchard Square, which is actually a circle, is at the far western corner of Prospect Park, at the junction of Prospect Park West and Southwest, Ninth Avenue, and 15th Street. Dedicated with its present name in 1923, it is named after Brooklyn residents Emil Bartel and William Pritchard, who died in combat during World War I.[155] The park entrance from the square was designed by Stanford White in 1896.[22]: 48 
Machate Circle is at the southwestern corner, at the junction of Prospect Park West, Ocean Parkway, and Parkside Avenue. Originally named Park Circle, it was renamed in 1989 in honor of a police officer killed in the line of duty. The park entrance from Machate Circle was also designed by Stanford White.[156]
Additional "major" entrances exist at the Parade Ground, on the park's south side; Parkside and Ocean Avenues, at the park's southeast corner; and Willink Hill, at Flatbush and Ocean Avenues on the Eastern border.[152]: 7 (PDF p. 8) [157] The Ocean/Parkside and Willink entrances were designed in the neoclassical style by McKim, Mead and White, and were built in the 1890s and 1900s. The Willink entrance is flanked by a pair of granite turrets, while the Ocean/Parkside entrance is located between the two portions of a curved granite colonnade.[15] Opposite the Willink entrance, there are the Flatbush Trees, three concrete cylinders with green sheet metal canopies, installed in 1979 and redecorated in 2015.[158]
Other entrancesThere are numerous other entrances spaced out along the park's border. These include five entrances on Prospect Park West, four on Prospect Park Southwest, and three on Ocean Avenue on the park's Eastern border. In total, there are eighteen park entrances.[157] Of these, the Third, Ninth, and 16th Street and Lincoln Road entrances are considered "major entrances", and are flanked by memorials or other decorations.[152]: 7 (PDF p. 8)  No entrances to Prospect Park have been built since the 1940s,[117] but two entrances were proposed for the Flatbush Avenue side in 2016 and are expected to be completed in from top left: Endale Arch (restored in 2020), East Wood Arch, Meadowport Arch, and Cleft Ridge SpanProspect Park originally included several arched bridges to provide grade-separated crossings for pedestrian and vehicular traffic; usually, the vehicular drive was located on top of the arch, and the pedestrian path was below.[15][160] This contrasted with other parks at the time, which did not contain such separations. The arches were designed to be as small and natural-looking as possible so they did not interfere with the scenery.[4]: 6 [31]: 39–40  For the most part, the spaces under the arches were originally outfitted with benches, while the arches themselves blended with the foliage.[31]: 40  Five arched bridges were ultimately built, all during the late 1860s and early 1870s.[15]
Endale Arch, also known as Enterdale Arch, is located under East Drive, slightly south of the Grand Army Plaza entrance on the north side of the park, and adjacent to the northeast side of Long Meadow.[129][161] It was one of the first two arches to be completed, in 1868. Its exterior contained interspersed yellow Ohio sandstone and red New Jersey brownstone.[4]: 6 [15] The interior was composed of brick set between alternately black and yellow wooden stripes, designed as such to prevent condensation from dripping downward.[15][31]: 39–40  Endale Arch contained seats underneath it, but these were later removed.[160][162] In 2014, the Prospect Park Alliance began a five-year restoration of the arch,[163] which was completed in 2020.[162][164]
East Wood Arch (or Eastwood Arch) is also located under East Drive, connecting the Nethermead Arch to the Willink Hill entrance on the Eastern side of Prospect Park.[4]: 6  It was the second of the two arches to be completed in 1868. East Wood Arch had a similar design to the Endale Arch, but had a simpler semicircular shape.[15][161]
Meadowport Arch is located on the northwest side of Long Meadow and passes under West Drive.[129][161] It was completed in 1870.[15][161] There were two portals at its Eastern end, perpendicular to each other, creating a cross-vault. The arch had Ohio sandstone and wooden lining inside, and the portals contained circular cornices, outward-facing piers, and octagonal domed finials.[4]: 6 [15] Meadowport Arch was restored in the 1980s, but has since fallen into disrepair.[160]
Nethermead Arch, also completed c.  1870,[15] carries Center Drive through the center of the park.[129][161] The bridge contains three arches: one each above the Ambergill, the park path, and the bridle path.[161] The span is made of Ohio sandstone and contains a trim of granite.[4]: 6 [15] Unlike some of the other arches, Nethermead did not have any interior wood, but instead, had patterned red brick.[160] The New York Times described its triple span as "one of the most astonishing structures in any city park."[128]
Cleft Ridge Span is located under Wellhouse Drive, at Breeze Hill, on the Eastern side of Prospect Park.[4]: 6 [129] It was the final arch span to be opened, in 1872. The span was distinctive in its use of red, ochre, and pale gray concrete blocks called "Béton Coignet".[15][160][165] Cleft Ridge might have been the first concrete arch span in the United States.[165] Both the interior and exterior designs were elaborate, though these have since eroded.[15]
Other spans
Lullwater Bridge
Terrace BridgeLullwater Bridge and Terrace Bridge are the only bridges across the watercourse that were built to handle automobile traffic.[50] Lullwater Bridge is located just downstream of the Boathouse, on Prospect Park's Eastern side.[129] The current metal span, built in 1905, replaces an oak bridge on the site that was originally constructed in 1868.[22]: 68–69 [161] Further downstream, Terrace Bridge carries Well House Drive over the watercourse just before it empties into the lake.[129] Built in 1890, Terrace Bridge also replaced an earlier wooden span, and it contains cast-iron tracery and brick vaults underneath, which have since deteriorated.[22]: 70–71 [161] It was so named because it was supposed to overlook the unbuilt Refectory, which had been canceled following the 1873 financial crisis.[15][50]
From northwest to southeast, the Fallkill, Esdale, Nethermead Arch, Rock Arch, Music Grove, and Binnen Bridges also cross the watercourse upstream of the Lullwater Bridge. Fallkill, Esdale, and Rock Arch Bridges are located northwest of Nethermead Arch, while Music Grove and Binnen Bridges are located southeast of the arch.[129][161] At the source of the watercourse, Fallkill and Esdale Bridges are both intended to look like wooden bridges, though are made of steel and concrete frames.[22]: 55 [161] Rock Arch Bridge, a boulder-lined span, crosses over Ambergill Falls; the waterfall had once been buried by the bridge's stonework, but was restored in the late 20th century when the bridge was rehabilitated.[22]: 56 [161] To the south, Binnen Bridge and Music Grove Bridge were both designed as wood bridges.[50] Binnen Bridge is located just north of the Lullwater, while Music Grove Bridge further upstream is located next to the Music Pagoda.[129]
Drives and pathsWhen it was built, Prospect Park did not have any transverse roadways. Instead, it was circled by a series of four scenic drives, named West, Center, Wellhouse, and East Drive.[4]: 6  The drives are paralleled by a more extensive system of pedestrian and bridle paths.[15][129] Several paths in the park, as well as East Drive, follow ancient Native American trails.[14][166]
The drives were originally 40 feet (12 m) wide and paved with gravel. The main loop, composed of West and East Drives, meanders around the park just inside its boundaries.[15] The loops were paved with asphalt and opened to automobiles in 1918.[167] Over the following decades, the hours at which vehicles could use the park were slowly restricted.[168] Supporters of a car ban argued that the park should be a haven from the type of city stress that automobiles represent, and that having them use the park sacrifices the safety of those using the park for recreation,[168][169] while opponents worried that banning traffic in the park would increase traffic outside.[170] The park's West Drive was closed to traffic in 2015. Following a trial run in which the park was car-free during summer 2017, the city determined that there were no major effects on nearby routes, and cars were barred completely from the park beginning in January 2018.[167][171][172] All of the drives are designated as protected bike lanes.[173]
There are also four hiking trails inside Prospect Park: the Lullwater, Midwood, Peninsula, and Waterfall trails. They range in length from 0.5 to 1.0 mile (0.80 to 1.61 km), and NYC Parks classifies all of the trails as "easy". The trails are named after the section of the park where they are located.[174]
Monuments and statues
Dongan Oak monument, marking a fighting site in Battle of Long Island
Mozart monument, erected in 1897
The Lafayette Memorial by Daniel Chester French, 1917Prospect Park contains dozens of monuments and statues to notable figures, including:[175]
A bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln, sculpted by Henry Kirke Brown in 1869. Originally situated in Grand Army Plaza, it was relocated to the Concert Grove in Prospect Park in 1896, and restored in the late 1980s.[176] With the Concert Grove's restoration in the 2010s, it was proposed to move the statue back to its original position,[177] but As of 2016, it was still located in the Concert Grove.[178]A bronze-on-marble statue of James S.T. Stranahan, sculpted by Frederick MacMonnies and located near the Grand Army Plaza entrance.[179] It was dedicated in 1891 and honors Stranahan, one of the key figures in the park's development.[40]The Lafayette Memorial, a bas-relief on granite at the Ninth Street entrance on the park's west side. The monument, which honors Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, was sculpted by Daniel Chester French and was completed in 1917.[15][180]The Maryland Monument, a Corinthian column near Terrace Bridge. It was created by Stanford White and dedicated in 1895.[181] The column commemorates the Maryland 400, members of the 1st Maryland Regiment who charged British forces on Lookout Hill in the Battle of Long Island during the American Revolution, despite being outnumbered.[182]The Prospect Park War Memorial, along the Eastern shore of the lake. Sculpted by Henry Augustus Lukeman, it was dedicated in 1921. The memorial consists of two bronze figures in front of a curved wall with memorial plaques, containing the names of 2,800 people who died during World War I.[15][57]Monuments to classical composers, including Beethoven, Mozart, and von Weber, in Concert Grove.[130][183] The surrounding area also contains tributes to poet Thomas Moore, writer Washington Irving, and classical composer Edvard Grieg.[183]A proposed monument of Shirley Chisholm at the Parkside and Ocean Avenues entrance. It will be designed by artists Amanda Williams and Olalekan Jeyifous.[184]Notable structuresWest side and Long MeadowLitchfield Villa, on the west side of the parkLitchfield Villa, on the west side of the parkThe Picnic House is located in Long Meadow on Prospect Park's west side.[129] Built in 1927, it replaced an earlier rustic structure that had burned down the previous year.[185] The structure was designed by J. Sarsfield Kennedy.[15]
The Litchfield Villa is located near the intersection of 5th Street and Prospect Park West, directly west of the Picnic House.[129] The building was originally a private residence built in 1854–1857 in the Italianate style. NYC Parks has used Litchfield Villa as a maintenance and office building since the late 19th century.[15] The villa was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1977.[186] A garage compound used by NYC Parks abuts the villa directly to the south.[15][129]
The Tennis House, constructed in 1909–1910 by Helmle, Hudswell and Huberty, is located on the Long Meadow at West Drive, west of approximately 8th Street.[129] The structure is a neoclassical structure made of limestone and brick, with a red tile roof.[8]: 130  It was first used as a locker room for tennis players, but later was converted into a non-public NYC Parks facility.[15] By the 2000s, the structure had become dilapidated. In 2017, it was announced that the Tennis House would be renovated and converted into restrooms as part of a $5.1 million, 4-year project.[113][187]
Roughly southeast of the Tennis House is the Dog Beach, on the western shore of the Fallkill section of the watercourse.[129] It is often used by dogs and their owners during summers, since Prospect Park has an "off-leash" policy that allows unleashed dogs during early mornings and late evenings.[188] The beach was restored in 2017.[112]BandshellAt 10th Street, to the west of West Drive, is the Harmony Playground and Bandshell.[129] The bandshell, designed by Aymar Embury II, was built in 1939 on the site of a former "zoological site", which was used for archery and hockey. The bandshell and the adjacent playground were restored in 2000 and given a musical theme.[92] In June 2021, the Prospect Park Bandshell was renamed the Lena Horne Bandshell to honor Lena Horne, a successful entertainer and Brooklyn native, as well as to show solidarity with the black community.[189][190]
Northeast sideThe Rose Garden is located next to Flatbush Avenue, on the north side of Prospect Park southwest of the Grand Army Plaza entrance.[129] It was built on the site of the Playground, a lawn that had been the first part of Prospect Park to open.[15] During the late 19th and early 20th century, the garden had roses and a goldfish pond.[130] The Rose Garden was renovated in the 1960s,[83] after which the garden did not host any roses.[114][130] In 2017, the Prospect Park Alliance announced plans to restore the garden,[191] and in the meantime, it placed 7,000 pinwheels in an effort to attract visitors.[114]
To the west, adjacent to the Rose Garden, is another garden called the Vale of Cashmere. The garden was named after Thomas Moore's poem "Lalla Rookh",[73][130] which in turn referred to Kashmir in what was then northern India.[192] The Vale of Cashmere was once used frequently by the well-to-do.[193] It contains a fountain that originally had a sculpture of a nude youth and six turtles in the center, though the sculpture was stolen in 1941.[73] The Vale became overgrown during the 20th century, and its fountain was abandoned. The Vale of Cashmere later became a popular spot for gay cruising, as documented in the book In the Vale of Cashmere by Thomas Roma.[130] The woods around the vale were damaged in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy and were subsequently restored.[102]
The Prospect Park Zoo occupies a 12-acre (4.9 ha) plot[194] slightly south of the Rose Garden across Flatbush Avenue from Brooklyn Botanic Garden.[129] The zoo was opened in 1935[15] and has been operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society since 1980.[195] As of 2016, Prospect Park Zoo had 864 animals representing 176 species.[196]
East side
Eastern facade of the Boathouse on the LullwaterThe oldest structure in Prospect Park, the Lefferts Historic House, is located south of the zoo, near the intersection of Ocean Avenue, Flatbush Avenue, and Empire Boulevard.[129] It was built in 1783 and was originally located near the Willink Hill entrance. The structure was relocated in 1920 to make way for the Willink entrance.[197] The house is a New York City designated landmark and operates as a children's museum of Brooklyn family life during the 19th century.[198]
The Prospect Park Carousel is located immediately west of the Lefferts Historic House.[129] The carousel contains 53 horses, created by master horse carver Charles Carmel in 1912, as well as three carvings of other animals and two chariots.[199] The carousel opened in October 1952,[62][63] superseding another carousel that had burned down over twenty years earlier.[200] It was subsequently restored from 1971 to 1974,[84] and again from 1987 to 1989.[89] Prior to the opening of the current carousel, three separate wooden carousels had been built throughout the park's history, and were located in different parts of the park.[15]
The Willink Hill entrance contains the neoclassical Willink Entrance Comfort Station.[129] The structure opened in 1912 and is designed similarly to the Tennis House.[8]: 130 [15]
Further south of the Willink entrance is the Boathouse on the Lullwater, on the Lullwater's Eastern shore.[129] Built in 1905–1907, it was the first structure in the park built by McKim, Mead and White, and was also constructed in the neoclassical style.[8]: 130  After being saved from destruction in 1964,[15][130] it was listed on the NRHP in 1972.[201]A path leading to the Oriental PavilionSouth of the Boathouse, past the Cleft Ridge Arch, is the Concert Grove, located on the northeast edge of the Lake.[129] Originally built in 1847,[202] it was designed so park patrons could hear music being played on the later-demolished Music Island. The grove's style complements that of the Central Park Mall but was laid out radially.[15] The grove also contains busts of classical composers.[130] A statue of Abraham Lincoln is located at the Concert Grove.[176] In the middle of the grove is the Concert Grove Pavilion, also known as the Oriental Pavilion, measuring 40 by 80 feet (12 by 24 m) with a roof and columns in a Middle Eastern or Indian style;[15][130] it formerly served as a restaurant but has since fallen into disrepair.[102][202] In 2021, the Concert Grove Pavilion was restored.[120][121]
The Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside is located immediately south of the Concert Grove.[129] It was completed in December 2013 and replaces the former Wollman Rink.[99][100] The multipurpose, year-round facility is used for ice-skating, boating, biking, and roller-skating, as well as winter sports such as hockey and curling.[145][203] The LeFrak Center accommodates over 200,000 visitors annually.[97]
Nethermead and Lookout Hill
Rebuilt Music PagodaThe Music Pagoda is located in the Nethermead, on the east side of the park along the watercourse's west shore.[129] The original pagoda, built in 1887, was a wooden structure with an octagonal roof and a stone base. It replaced a "temporary" music stand near the Lullwood.[15] The Music Pagoda was used for concerts until it burned down in 1968. The current pagoda on the site is a re-creation of the original, built in 1971.[204]
The Well House is located on the northern shore of the Lake, abutting the southern slope of Lookout Hill on the southwestern side of Prospect Park.[73][129] It was the last structure in the park to be built by Olmsted and Vaux, having been built in 1869. It was made of gray stone and brick, and featured a hip roof and a doorway inside a Tudor arch. The house initially contained machinery that powered Prospect Park's watercourse, and at one point, pumped 750,000 U.S. gallons (2,800,000 liters) of water into the watercourse each day.[15] The water from the Well House was drawn from a 70-foot-deep (21 m) well, which led to the Brooklyn Aquifer.[50][132] Originally, there was a 60-foot-tall (18 m) smokestack behind the Well House, as well as a cistern in front of the building.[50][135] The machines became obsolete in the early 20th century when Prospect Park was connected to New York City's municipal water system.[111][135] Subsequently, the tower was demolished and the cistern was filled in.[135] In 2017, the Well House was restored and turned into a composting restroom.[110][111]
South side
The PeristyleThe Prospect Park Peristyle, also known as the Grecian Shelter or Croquet Shelter, is located on the southwest corner of the park, south of the Lake.[129] Constructed by McKim, Mead and White in 1905, this peristyle was built on the site of the 1860s-era Promenade Drive Shelter. The Prospect Park Peristyle is actually designed in the Renaissance architectural style and consists of a rectangular colonnade with Corinthian columns.[15] It was rehabilitated in 1966 and listed on the NRHP in 1972.[205]
Former structuresThe Dairy Cottage, seen circa 1870The Dairy, c. 1870The Dairy Cottage, or "the Dairy", was located near Boulder Bridge west of the zoo. It was a two-story stone cottage with two gabled wings; a public room and women's quarters on the first floor; and a single residence on the second floor.[15] The Dairy was built in 1869 or 1871 to sell fresh milk and other light refreshments to the public; a similar building was also built in Central Park. At the time, sheep and cows were allowed to pasture on the meadows of Prospect Park, and seven cows were purchased specifically to provide milk. However, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, news articles after 1879 do not make a mention of the Dairy providing milk.[206] The cottage later became part of the Menagerie, the precursor to the modern-day zoo, and was encircled by several other zoo buildings to its north and east. All of these buildings were demolished in 1935 when the zoo was built.[15]
There were two unusual structures built in Prospect Park in its early years. The first was a camera obscura booth located on Breeze Hill's western slope, at the east end of the park, built in the early 1880s.[14][73] The second was the Circular Yacht or Rotary Yacht, a floating carousel with yacht-shaped vehicles. Located near the Long Meadow, the Circular Yacht was constructed by inventor David Smith in 1878 and could hold up to 220 people at once.[14][207] These structures were both demolished before the 1900s, and the camera obscura later became the site of the now-demolished Old Fashioned Flower Garden.[14][15]
The park contained a Music Island near the east shore of the Lake.[15] The island was used by musicians who were performing for audiences in the nearby Concert Grove. It was demolished in 1960 to make way for the Wollman Rink. Following the rink's demolition in the early 2010s,[98] a replica of the island was constructed, and it opened in 2012.[71][72] Across the Lake, two structures were built on the peninsula in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Model Yacht Club House, built on the south side of the peninsula in 1900, was an octagonal wood-frame clubhouse that burned down in a fire in 1956. On the opposite or northern side of the peninsula, there was another shelter, similar in design to the Concert Grove Pavilion, which lasted from 1915 to around the 1940s.[15][73]
On the west side of Prospect Park, there was a conservatory on the Long Meadow. It consisted of sixteen greenhouses located near Seventh Street and Prospect Park West.[208] Though it was a popular visitor attraction, it was supplanted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden past the park's Eastern edge. The conservatory's greenhouses were renovated in 1929–1930, but the cost of upkeep soon became exorbitant.[15] In 1955, the greenhouses were considered redundant and were demolished. At that point, the conservatory's main attraction was an annual Easter flower show.[74][209]
LeFrak Center at Lakeside
Entrance to the Parade GroundThere are numerous sports hosted in Prospect Park, and specialized facilities exist for several sports. Seven baseball fields are located in the Long Meadow between 9th and 15th Streets. Two are major league-sized fields serving older age groups, while the other five are slightly smaller and intended for younger children, typically 8–12 years old.[129] In the winter, ice skating, cross-country skiing, figure skating, curling, hockey, and tennis are provided in the LeFrak Center at Lakeside.[203] The LeFrak Center also accommodates boating and biking.[145] The Parade Ground also contains a variety of fields for several sports.[210]
Other sports are also played in Prospect Park. The Prospect Park Track Club, formed in the early 1970s, organizes regular training runs and races in and around the park's 3.33-mile-long (5.36 km) loop.[211] The Prospect Park Women's Softball League has been playing softball games on summer evenings in Prospect Park since 1973.[212] Circle rules football is also played seasonally inside the park.[213] Since the 1930s, the nearby Kensington Stables has hosted horse-riding lessons in Prospect Park.[214] Pedalboating is also open to the public on the lake.[139] Prospect Park's rolling hills also accommodate sledding during the winters.[215][216]
The Bandshell hosts frequent concerts, most notably the "Celebrate Brooklyn!" Performing Arts Festival, a series of summer concerts founded in 1979 that draws performing artists from around the world. The festival is produced by BRIC Arts Media Bklyn.[217]
Parade GroundThe site of the present-day Parade Ground, at Prospect Park's southwest corner, was first proposed in 1866 and was to be used for training militia.[218] The state approved the acquisition of a 40-acre (16 ha) rectangular area just south of Parkside Avenue and handed control of the plot to the Prospect Park commissioners.[219] The Parade Ground was designated to be used for sports and military drills. It was set apart from the main section of the park in fear that the high level of activity would damage the grass and plants and disrupt the park's pastoral feel. Initially, the Parade Ground contained a long, wood-frame building, which included a two-story pavilion for officers' quarters, as well as a restroom to the south and a guard room to the north.[15] Other uses included a gathering on June 15, 1927, when the Parade Ground attracted over 200,000 people to greet pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh.[220][221]
The militia no longer use the Parade Ground, but the plot is still an active athletic complex.[210] In its present form, the Parade Ground has fifteen numbered courts and fields, used for soccer, baseball, softball, basketball, and volleyball.[129][210] They encompass the Prospect Park Tennis Center, four baseball diamonds, two softball fields, a football field, a soccer field, basketball and volleyball courts, the Paul Ricard Pétanque Court and three giant multi-use fields.[210] The Stewart Playground is also on the east side of the Parade Ground.[222]
Many Major League Baseball stars got their start at the Parade Ground, including Joe Torre and Sandy Koufax.[210] In 2003, the Parade Ground had a netball court installed next to the basketball courts.[223] The next year, the Parade Ground underwent a $12.4 million restoration.[210] The netball court was replaced by an outdoor adult fitness center in 2019, due to a lack of use,[224] and a dog run in the Parade Ground opened in 2020.[119]Boathouse at the LullwaterManagementA nonprofit organization called Prospect Park Alliance manages Prospect Park, while NYC Parks owns and operates the land and facilities. The Alliance's responsibilities include maintaining and restoring natural and recreational areas, as well as providing educational and cultural programs.[225] In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022, the Alliance had net assets (own equity) of about $37.2 million and liabilities of $3.1 million, which amounted to total assets of $40.3 million. Net assets increased $5.9 million from the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.[226]
Prior to the Prospect Park Alliance's founding, there was no private maintenance of the park. The Alliance was created in April 1987[87] after the city had spent $10 million in federal funds to renovate the park in the early 1980s.[88] The Alliance subsequently started new programs to reach out to the surrounding communities, and its renovation programs caused housing prices in the area to increase by the to the Prospect Park stationThere are four New York City Subway stations that directly serve the park.[228] The Eastern side of Prospect Park is served by the park's eponymous station (B, ​Q, and ​S trains) and the Parkside Avenue station (Q train). The western side is served by 15th Street–Prospect Park (F, <F>, and ​G trains). Grand Army Plaza is served by the 2​ and ​3 trains at the plaza's eponymous station.[229] Bus service is provided on the western side by the B61, B67 and B69 buses, the southwestern side by the B68 bus; the Eastern side by the B16, B41, B43 and B48 buses; and the southern side by the B16 the 1970s, there were multiple incidents involving animal injuries or deaths at the Prospect Park Zoo. This included the scalding death of a monkey in 1975, allegedly by a zoo employee, as well as an acting zoo director who was accused of shooting at pigeons and killing zoo animals.[231][232] A zoo employee also locked himself in a monkey enclosure for several hours in 1974 to protest the deaths of ten animals.[232][233] These incidents, as well as several others at the Central Park Zoo, prompted protests by animal-rights groups who wanted to close the two zoos and move the animals to the larger Bronx Zoo.[232] This directly led to the Wildlife Conservation Society's takeover of the Prospect Park Zoo in 1980.[86]
In May 1987, an 11-year-old boy climbed into the polar bear enclosure after hours at the Prospect Park Zoo and was subsequently mauled by two of the bears; both bears were then fatally shot by police officers. The incident contributed to the Wildlife Conservation Society's decision to redesign the zoo to emphasize species more appropriate to its small size and to visitor interactions.[234]
In July 2010, federal authorities captured 400 Canada geese in the park and gassed them to death due to air safety concerns brought up after the emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in January 2009.[235]
Crimes and deathsSeveral murders have occurred in Prospect Park during its history. In August 1975, a 15-year-old recent graduate of Ditmas Junior High School, was strangled with a belt in a wooded area of the Vale of Cashmere.[236] In June 1993, a 42-year-old man was shot to death while resisting a group of teenagers trying to steal his bicycle; the shooter received a maximum 25-year prison term.[237] In April 2006, a 61-year-old man was found stabbed to death in the Vale of Cashmere.[238] A 41-year-old homeless man was found beaten to death in a wooded area near a jogging path two years later, in June 2008.[239] A 23-year-old man was fatally shot at the Parade Ground in March 2011, having recently been jailed on charges of being an accomplice in another man's murder.[240]
Other incidents have included the April 2018 suicide of lawyer and Environmental activist David Buckel, who lit himself on fire to protest the use of fossil fuels.[241][242]
Brooklyn is a borough of New York City, coextensive with Kings County, in the U.S. state of New York. Kings County is the most populous county in the State of New York, and the second-most-densely-populated county in the United States, behind New York County (Manhattan).[5] Brooklyn is also New York City's most populous borough,[6] with 2,736,074 residents in 2020.[1] If Brooklyn were an independent city, it would be the third most populous in the U.S. after the rest of New York City and Los Angeles, and ahead of Chicago.[7]
Named after the Dutch town of Breukelen, Brooklyn is located on the westernmost edge of Long Island and shares a border with the borough of Queens. It has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan, across the East River, and is connected to Staten Island by way of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. With a land area of 70.82 square miles (183.4 km2) and a water area of 26 square miles (67 km2), Kings County is the state of New York's fourth-smallest county by land area and third smallest by total area.
Brooklyn was founded by the Dutch in the 17th century and grew into a busy port city by the 19th century. On January 1, 1898, after a long political campaign and public-relations battle during the 1890s, in accordance to the new municipal charter of "Greater New York", Brooklyn was consolidated in and annexed (along with other areas) to form the current five-borough structure of New York City. The borough continues to maintain some distinct culture. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves. Having a larger Jewish population than Jerusalem, the borough has been described as "the most Jewish spot on Earth", with Jews forming around a quarter of its population.[8][9] Brooklyn's official motto, displayed on the borough seal and Flag, is Eendraght Maeckt Maght, which translates from early modern Dutch as 'Unity makes strength'.
In the first decades of the 21st century, Brooklyn has experienced a renaissance as a destination for hipsters,[10] with concomitant gentrification, dramatic house price increases, and a decrease in housing affordability.[11] Some new developments are required to include affordable housing units. Since the 2010s, parts of Brooklyn have evolved into a hub of entrepreneurship, high technology start-up firms,[12][13] postmodern art[14] and design.[13]
ToponymThe name Brooklyn is derived from the original Dutch town of Breukelen. The oldest mention of the settlement in the Netherlands is in a charter of 953 by Holy Roman Emperor Otto I as Broecklede.[15] This form is made up of the words broeck, meaning bog or marshland, and lede, meaning small (dug) water stream specifically in peat areas.[16] Breuckelen on the American continent was established in 1646, and the name first appeared in print in 1663.[17][18][19]
Over the past two millennia, the name of the ancient town in Holland has been Bracola, Broccke, Brocckede, Broiclede, Brocklandia, Broekclen, Broikelen, Breuckelen, and finally Breukelen.[20] The New Amsterdam settlement of Breuckelen also went through many spelling variations, including Breucklyn, Breuckland, Brucklyn, Broucklyn, Brookland, Brockland, Brocklin, and Brookline/Brook-line. There have been so many variations of the name that its origin has been debated; some have claimed breuckelen means "broken land."[21] The current name, however, is the one that best reflects its meaning.[22][23]
HistoryFor a chronological guide, see Timeline of Brooklyn.Part of a series onLong IslandLong buildingsRecreationLaw CountySuffolk CountyMunicipalitiesNorth ShoreSouth ShoreNorth ForkSouth ForkLong Island SoundBarrier islandsvteNew Netherland seriesThe history of European settlement in Brooklyn spans more than 350 years. The settlement began in the 17th century as the small Dutch-founded town of "Breuckelen" on the East River shore of Long Island, grew to be a sizeable city in the 19th century and was consolidated in 1898 with New York City (then confined to Manhattan and the Bronx), the remaining rural areas of Kings County, and the largely rural areas of Queens and Staten Island, to form the modern City of New York.
Colonial eraNew NetherlandThe Dutch were the first Europeans to settle Long Island's western edge, which was then largely inhabited by the Lenape, an Algonquian-speaking American Indian tribe often referred to in European documents by a variation of the place name "Canarsie". Bands were associated with place names, but the colonists thought their names represented different tribes. The Breuckelen settlement was named after Breukelen in the Netherlands; it was part of New Netherland. The Dutch West India Company lost little time in chartering the six original parishes (listed here by their later English town names):[24] Gravesend: in 1645, settled under Dutch patent by English followers of Anabaptist Deborah Moody, named for 's-Gravenzande, Netherlands, or Gravesend, England; Brooklyn Heights: as Breuckelen in 1646, after the town now spelled Breukelen, Netherlands. Breuckelen was along Fulton Street (now Fulton Mall) between Hoyt Street and Smith Street (according to H. Stiles and P. Ross). Brooklyn Heights, or Clover Hill, is where the village of Brooklyn was founded in 1816; Flatlands: as Nieuw Amersfoort in 1647; Flatbush: as Midwout in 1652; Nieuw Utrecht in 1652, after the city of Utrecht, Netherlands; and Bushwick: as Boswijck in 1661.A dining table from the Dutch village of Brooklyn, c. 1664, in The Brooklyn MuseumThe colony's capital of New Amsterdam, across the East River, obtained its charter in 1653. The neighborhood of Marine Park was home to North America's first tide mill. It was built by the Dutch, and the foundation can be seen today. But the area was not formally settled as a town. Many incidents and documents relating to this period are in Gabriel Furman's 1824 compilation.[25]
Province of New York
Village of Brooklyn and environs, 1766Present-day Brooklyn left Dutch hands after the English captured the New Netherland colony in 1664, a prelude to the Second Anglo-Dutch War. New Netherland was taken in a naval action, and the English renamed the new capture for their naval commander, James, Duke of York, brother of the then monarch King Charles II and future king himself as King James II. Brooklyn became a part of the West Riding of York Shire in the Province of New York, one of the Middle Colonies of nascent British America.
On November 1, 1683, Kings County was partitioned from the West Riding of York Shire, containing the six old Dutch towns on southwestern Long Island,[26] as one of the "original twelve counties". This tract of land was recognized as a political entity for the first time, and the municipal groundwork was laid for a later expansive idea of a Brooklyn identity.
Lacking the patroon and tenant farmer system established along the Hudson River Valley, this agricultural county unusually came to have one of the highest percentages of slaves among the population in the "Original Thirteen Colonies" along the Atlantic Ocean Eastern coast of North America.[27]
Revolutionary WarFurther information: Battle of Long Island and New York and New Jersey campaign
The Battle of Long Island was fought across Kings County.On August 27, 1776, the Battle of Long Island (also known as the 'Battle of Brooklyn') was fought, the first major engagement fought in the American Revolutionary War after independence was declared, and the largest of the entire conflict. British troops forced Continental Army troops under George Washington off the heights near the modern sites of Green-Wood Cemetery, Prospect Park, and Grand Army Plaza.[28]
Washington, viewing particularly fierce fighting at the Gowanus Creek and Old Stone House from atop a hill near the west end of present-day Atlantic Avenue, was reported to have emotionally exclaimed: "What brave men I must this day lose!".[28]
The fortified American positions at Brooklyn Heights consequently became untenable and were evacuated a few days later, leaving the British in control of New York Harbor. While Washington's defeat on the battlefield cast early doubts on his ability as the commander, the tactical withdrawal of all his troops and supplies across the East River in a single night is now seen by historians as one of his most brilliant triumphs.[28]
The British controlled the surrounding region for the duration of the war, as New York City was soon occupied and became their military and political base of operations in North America for the remainder of the conflict. The British generally enjoyed a dominant Loyalist sentiment from the residents in Kings County who did not evacuate, though the region was also the center of the fledgling—and largely successful—Patriot intelligence network, headed by Washington himself.
The British set up a system of prison ships off the coast of Brooklyn in Wallabout Bay, where more American patriots died there than in combat on all the battlefield engagements of the American Revolutionary War combined. One result of the Treaty of Paris in 1783 was the evacuation of the British from New York City, which was celebrated by New Yorkers into the 20th century.
Post-independence eraUrbanization
Winter Scene in Brooklyn, c. 1819–20, by Francis Guy (Brooklyn Museum)The first half of the 19th century saw the beginning of the development of urban areas on the economically strategic East River shore of Kings County, facing the adolescent City of New York confined to Manhattan Island. The New York Navy Yard operated in Wallabout Bay (border between Fort Greene and Williamsburgh) during the 19th century and two-thirds of the 20th century.
The first center of urbanization sprang up in the Town of Brooklyn, directly across from Lower Manhattan, which saw the incorporation of the Village of Brooklyn in 1817. Reliable steam ferry service across the East River to Fulton Landing converted Brooklyn Heights into a commuter town for Wall Street. Ferry Road to Jamaica Pass became Fulton Street to East New York. Town and Village were combined to form the first, kernel incarnation of the City of Brooklyn in 1834.
In a parallel development, the Town of Bushwick, farther up the river, saw the incorporation of the Village of Williamsburgh in 1827, which separated as the Town of Williamsburgh in 1840 and formed the short-lived City of Williamsburgh in 1851. Industrial deconcentration in the mid-century was bringing shipbuilding and other manufacturing to the northern part of the county. Each of the two cities and six towns in Kings County remained independent municipalities and purposely created non-aligning street grids with different naming systems.
However, the East River shore was growing too fast for the three-year-old infant City of Williamsburgh; it, along with its Town of Bushwick hinterland, was subsumed within a greater City of Brooklyn in 1854.
By 1841, with the appearance of The Brooklyn Eagle, and Kings County Democrat published by Alfred G. Stevens, the growing city across the East River from Manhattan was producing its own prominent newspaper.[29] It later became the most popular and highest circulation afternoon paper in America. The publisher changed to L. Van Anden on April 19, 1842,[30] and the paper was renamed The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and Kings County Democrat on June 1, 1846.[31] On May 14, 1849, the name was shortened to The Brooklyn Daily Eagle;[32] on September 5, 1938, it was further shortened to Brooklyn Eagle.[33] The establishment of the paper in the 1840s helped develop a separate identity for Brooklynites over the next century. The borough's soon-to-be-famous National League baseball team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, also assisted with this. Both major institutions were lost in the 1950s: the paper closed in 1955 after unsuccessful attempts at a sale following a reporters' strike, and the baseball team decamped for Los Angeles in a realignment of major league baseball in 1957.
Agitation against Southern slavery was stronger in Brooklyn than in New York,[34] and under Republican leadership, the city was fervent in the Union cause in the Civil War. After the war the Henry Ward Beecher Monument was built downtown to honor a famous local abolitionist. A great victory arch was built at what was then the south end of town to celebrate the armed forces; this place is now called Grand Army Plaza.
The number of people living in Brooklyn grew rapidly early in the 19th century. There were 4,402 by 1810, 7,175 in 1820 and 15,396 by 1830.[35] The city's population was 25,000 in 1834, but the police department comprised only 12 men on the day shift and another 12 on the night shift. Every time a rash of burglaries broke out, officials blamed burglars from New York City. Finally, in 1855, a modern police force was created, employing 150 men. Voters complained of inadequate protection and excessive costs. In 1857, the state legislature merged the Brooklyn force with that of New York City.[36]
Civil WarFervent in the Union cause, the city of Brooklyn played a major role in supplying troops and materiel for the American Civil War. The most well-known regiment to be sent off to war from the city was the 14th Brooklyn "Red Legged Devils". They fought from 1861 to 1864, wore red the entire war, and were the only regiment named after a city. President Abraham Lincoln called them into service, making them part of a handful of three-year enlisted soldiers in April 1861. Unlike other regiments during the American Civil War, the 14th wore a uniform inspired by the French Chasseurs, a light infantry used for quick assaults.
As a seaport and a manufacturing center, Brooklyn was well prepared to contribute to the Union's strengths in shipping and manufacturing. The two combined in shipbuilding; the ironclad Monitor was built in Brooklyn.
Twin cityBrooklyn is referred to as the twin city of New York in the 1883 poem, "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, which appears on a plaque inside the Statue of Liberty. The poem calls New York Harbor "the air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame". As a twin city to New York, it played a role in national affairs that was later overshadowed by decades of subordination by its old partner and rival. During this period, the affluent, contiguous districts of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill (then characterized collectively as The Hill) were home to such notable figures as Astral Oil Works founder Charles Pratt and his children, including local civic leader Charles Millard Pratt; Theosophical Society co-founder William Quan Judge; and Pfizer co-founders Charles Pfizer and Charles F. Erhart. Brooklyn Heights remained one of the New York metropolitan area's most august patrician redoubts into the early 20th century under the aegis of such figures as abolitionist clergyman Henry Ward Beecher, educator-politician Seth Low, merchant-banker Horace Brigham Claflin, attorney William Cary Sanger (who served for two years as United States Assistant Secretary of War under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt) and publisher Alfred Smith Barnes.
Economic growth continued, propelled by immigration and industrialization, and Brooklyn established itself as the third-most populous American city for much of the 19th century. The waterfront from Gowanus to Greenpoint was developed with piers and factories. Industrial access to the waterfront was improved by the Gowanus Canal and the canalized Newtown Creek. USS Monitor was the most famous product of the large and growing shipbuilding industry of Williamsburg. After the Civil War, trolley lines and other transport brought urban sprawl beyond Prospect Park (completed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1873 and widely heralded as an improvement upon the earlier Central Park) into the center of the county, as evinced by gradual settlement in comparatively rustic Windsor Terrace and Kensington. By century's end, Dean Alvord's Prospect Park South development in nearby Flatbush would serve as the template for contemporaneous "Victorian Flatbush" micro-neighborhoods and the post-consolidation emergence of outlying districts, such as Midwood and Marine Park. Along with Oak Park, Illinois, it also presaged the automobile and commuter rail-driven vogue for more remote prewar suburban communities, such as Garden City, New York and Montclair, New Jersey.Brooklyn Bridge in 1883, by Currier and IvesThe rapidly growing population needed more water, so the City built centralized waterworks, including the Ridgewood Reservoir. The municipal Police Department, however, was abolished in 1854 in favor of a Metropolitan force covering also New York and Westchester Counties. In 1865 the Brooklyn Fire Department (BFD) also gave way to the new Metropolitan Fire District.
Throughout this period the peripheral towns of Kings County, far from Manhattan and even from urban Brooklyn, maintained their rustic independence. The only municipal change seen was the secession of the Eastern section of the Town of Flatbush as the Town of New Lots in 1852. The building of rail links such as the Brighton Beach Line in 1878 heralded the end of this isolation.
Sports in Brooklyn became a business. The Brooklyn Bridegrooms played professional baseball at Washington Park in the convenient suburb of Park Slope and elsewhere. Early in the next century, under their new name of Brooklyn Dodgers, they brought baseball to Ebbets Field, beyond Prospect Park. Racetracks, amusem*nt parks, and beach resorts opened in Brighton Beach, Coney Island, and elsewhere in the southern part of the county.Currier and Ives print of Brooklyn, 1886Toward the end of the 19th century, the City of Brooklyn experienced its final, explosive growth spurt. Park Slope was rapidly urbanized, with its Eastern summit soon emerging as the city's third "Gold Coast" district alongside Brooklyn Heights and The Hill. East of The Hill, Bedford-Stuyvesant coalesced as an upper middle class enclave for lawyers, shopkeepers, and merchants of German and Irish descent (notably exemplified by John C. Kelley, a water meter magnate and close friend of President Grover Cleveland), with nearby Crown Heights gradually fulfilling an analogous role for the city's Jewish population as development continued through the early 20th century. Northeast of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bushwick (by now a working class, predominantly German district) established a considerable brewery industry; the so-called "Brewer's Row" encompassed 14 breweries operating in a 14-block area in 1890. On the southwestern waterfront of Kings County, railroads and industrialization spread to Sunset Park (then coterminous with the city's sprawling, sparsely populated Eighth Ward) and adjacent Bay Ridge (hitherto a resort-like subsection of the Town of New Utrecht). Within a decade, the city had annexed the Town of New Lots in 1886; the Towns of Flatbush, Gravesend and New Utrecht in 1894; and the Town of Flatlands in 1896. Brooklyn had reached its natural municipal boundaries at the ends of Kings County.
Seth Low as mayorLow's time in office 1882-1885 was marked by a number of reforms:[37]
Low's major achievement as mayor was to secure a degree of "home rule" of the city. Previously, the State Government dictated city policies, hiring, salaries, and other affairs. Low managed to secure an unofficial veto over all Brooklyn bills in the State Assembly.Low instituted a number of educational reforms. He was the first to integrate Brooklyn schools. He introduced free textbooks for all students, not just those who had taken a pauper's oath. He instituted a competitive examination for hiring teachers, instead of giving teaching jobs to pay political debts. He set aside $430,000 for the construction of new schools to accommodate 10,000 new students.Low introduced Civil Service Code to all city employees, eliminating patronage jobs.German Americans wanted to enjoy their local beer gardens on the Sabbath, in violation of state "dry" laws and the demands of local puritanical clergy. Low's compromise solution was that saloons could stay open as long as they were orderly. At the first sign of rowdiness, they would be closed.Low served as a member of the board of the New York Bridge Company, the company that built the Brooklyn Bridge, and led an unsuccessful effort to remove Washington Roebling as the chief engineer on that project.[38]Low raised the tax rate from $2.33 of $100 assessed valuation in 1881 to $2.59 in 1883.[37] He also went after property owners who had not paid back taxes. This increase in city revenue enabled him to reduce the city's debt and increase services. However, raising taxes proved extremely unpopular.Mayors of the City of BrooklynSee also: List of mayors of New York City and Brooklyn borough presidentsBrooklyn elected a mayor from 1834 until consolidation in 1898 into the City of Greater New York, whose own second mayor (1902–1903), Seth Low, had been Mayor of Brooklyn from 1882 to 1885. Since 1898, Brooklyn has, in place of a separate mayor, elected a Borough President.
Mayors of the City of Brooklyn[39]MayorPartyStart yearEnd yearGeorge HallDemocratic-Republican18341834Jonathan TrotterDemocratic18351836Jeremiah JohnsonWhig18371838Cyrus P. SmithWhig18391841Henry C. MurphyDemocratic18421842Joseph SpragueDemocratic18431844Thomas G. TalmageDemocratic18451845Francis B. StrykerWhig18461848Edward CoplandWhig18491849Samuel SmithDemocratic18501850Conklin BrushWhig18511852Edward A. LambertDemocratic18531854George HallKnow Nothing18551856Samuel S. PowellDemocratic18571860Martin KalbfleischDemocratic18611863Alfred M. WoodRepublican18641865Samuel BoothRepublican18661867Martin KalbfleischDemocratic18681871Samuel S. PowellDemocratic18721873John W. HunterDemocratic18741875Frederick A. SchroederRepublican18761877James HowellDemocratic18781881Seth LowRepublican18821885Daniel D. WhitneyDemocratic18861887Alfred C. ChapinDemocratic18881891David A. BoodyDemocratic18921893Charles A. SchierenRepublican18941895Frederick W. WursterRepublican18961897New York City boroughFurther information: History of New York City (1898–1945)
Brooklyn in 1897In 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, transportation to Manhattan was no longer by water only, and the City of Brooklyn's ties to the City of New York were strengthened.
The question became whether Brooklyn was prepared to engage in the still-grander process of consolidation then developing throughout the region, whether to join with the county of Richmond and the western portion of Queens County, and the county of New York, which by then already included the Bronx, to form the five boroughs of a united City of New York. Andrew Haswell Green and other progressives said yes, and eventually, they prevailed against the Daily Eagle and other conservative forces. In 1894, residents of Brooklyn and the other counties voted by a slight majority to merge, effective in 1898.[40]
Kings County retained its status as one of New York State's counties, but the loss of Brooklyn's separate identity as a city was met with consternation by some residents at the time. Many newspapers of the day called the merger the "Great Mistake of 1898", and the phrase still elicits Brooklyn pride among old-time of Brooklyn (red) within New York City (remainder yellow)
USGS map of Brooklyn (2019)Brooklyn is 97 square miles (250 km2) in area, of which 71 square miles (180 km2) is land (73%), and 26 square miles (67 km2) is water (27%); the borough is the second-largest by land area among the New York City's boroughs. However, Kings County, coterminous with Brooklyn, is New York State's fourth-smallest county by land area and third-smallest by total area.[6] Brooklyn lies at the southwestern end of Long Island, and the borough's western border constitutes the island's western tip.
Brooklyn's water borders are extensive and varied, including Jamaica Bay; the Atlantic Ocean; The Narrows, separating Brooklyn from the borough of Staten Island in New York City and crossed by the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge; Upper New York Bay, separating Brooklyn from Jersey City and Bayonne in the U.S. state of New Jersey; and the East River, separating Brooklyn from the borough of Manhattan in New York City and traversed by the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge, and numerous routes of the New York City Subway. To the east of Brooklyn lies the borough of Queens, which contains John F. Kennedy International Airport in that borough's Jamaica neighborhood, approximately two miles from the border of Brooklyn's East New York neighborhood.
ClimateUnder the Köppen climate classification, using the 32 °F (0 °C) coldest month (January) isotherm, Brooklyn experiences a humid subtropical climate (Cfa),[42] with partial shielding from the Appalachian Mountains and moderating influences from the Atlantic Ocean. Brooklyn receives plentiful precipitation all year round, with nearly 50 in (1,300 mm) yearly. The area averages 234 days with at least some sunshine annually, and averages 57% of possible sunshine annually, accumulating 2,535 hours of sunshine per annum.[43] Brooklyn lies in the USDA 7b plant hardiness zone.[44]
Climate data for JFK Airport, New York (1981–2010 normals,[45] extremes 1948–present)Climate data for Brooklyn, New York City (Avenue V)Boroughscape
The Downtown Brooklyn skyline, the Manhattan Bridge (far left), and the Brooklyn Bridge (near left) are seen across the East River from Lower Manhattan at sunset in 2013.
View of the Brooklyn skyline from the Gowanus Canal in 2021NeighborhoodsSee also: List of Brooklyn neighborhoods and New York City ethnic enclaves
Landmark 19th-century rowhouses on tree-lined Kent Street, in Greenpoint Historic District
Park Slope
150–159 Willow Street, three original red-brick early 19th-century Federal Style houses in Brooklyn HeightsBrooklyn's neighborhoods are dynamic in ethnic composition. For example, the early to mid-20th century, Brownsville had a majority of Jewish residents; since the 1970s it has been majority African American. Midwood during the early 20th century was filled with ethnic Irish, then filled with Jewish residents for nearly 50 years, and is slowly becoming a Pakistani enclave. Brooklyn's most populous racial group, white, declined from 97.2% in 1930 to 46.9% by 1990.[50]
The borough attracts people previously living in other cities in the United States. Of these, most come from Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Cincinnati, and diversity
Imatra Society, consisting of Finnish immigrants, celebrating its summer festival in Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, in 1894Given New York City's role as a crossroads for immigration from around the world, Brooklyn has evolved a globally cosmopolitan ambiance of its own, demonstrating a robust and growing demographic and cultural diversity with respect to metrics including nationality, religion, race, and domiciliary partnership. In 2010, 51.6% of the population was counted as members of religious congregations.[58] In 2014, there were 914 religious organizations in Brooklyn, the 10th most of all counties in the nation.[59] Brooklyn contains dozens of distinct neighborhoods representing many of the major culturally identified groups found within New York City. Among the most prominent are listed below:
Jewish American
The world's largest metropolitan Hasidic Jewish community resides in Brooklyn.Main article: Jews in New York CityOver 600,000 Jews, particularly Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, have become concentrated in such historically Jewish areas as Borough Park, Williamsburg, and Midwood, where there are many yeshivas, synagogues, and kosher restaurants, as well as many other Jewish businesses. Other notable religious Jewish neighborhoods with a longstanding cultural lineage include Kensington, Canarsie, Sea Gate, and Crown Heights, home to the Chabad world headquarters. Neighborhoods with largely defunct yet historically notable Jewish populations include Flatbush, East Flatbush, Brownsville, East New York, Bensonhurst and Sheepshead Bay (particularly its Madison subsection). Many hospitals in Brooklyn were started by Jewish charities, including Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park and Brookdale Hospital in East Flatbush.[60][61]
The predominantly Jewish, Crown Heights (and later East Flatbush)-based Madison Democratic Club served as the borough's primary "clubhouse" political venue for decades until the ascendancy of Meade Esposito's rival, Canarsie-based Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club in the 1960s and 1970s, playing an integral role in the rise of such figures as Speaker of the New York State Assembly Irwin Steingut; his son, fellow Speaker Stanley Steingut; New York City Mayor Abraham Beame; real estate developer Fred Trump; Democratic district leader Beadie Markowitz; and political fixer Abraham "Bunny" Lindenbaum.
Many non-Orthodox Jews (ranging from observant members of various denominations to atheists of Jewish cultural heritage) are concentrated in Ditmas Park and Park Slope, with smaller observant and culturally Jewish populations in Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Brighton Beach, and Coney Island.
Chinese American
8th Avenue in Brooklyn's Sunset Park ChinatownMain articles: Chinatowns in Brooklyn and Chinese Americans in New York CityOver 200,000 Chinese Americans live throughout the southern parts of Brooklyn, primarily concentrated in Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Gravesend and Homecrest. Brooklyn is the borough that is home to the highest number of Chinatowns in New York City. The largest concentration is in Sunset Park along 8th Avenue, which has become known for its Chinese culture since the opening of the now-defunct Winley Supermarket in 1986 spurred widespread settlement in the area. It is called "Brooklyn's Chinatown" and originally it was a small Chinese enclave with Cantonese speakers being the main Chinese population during the late 1980s and 1990s, but since the 2000s, the Chinese population in the area dramatically shifted to majority Fuzhounese Americans, which immensely contributed to expanding this Chinatown very dramatically rendering this Chinatown with the nicknames "Fuzhou Town (福州埠), Brooklyn" or the "Little Fuzhou (小福州)" of Brooklyn. Many Chinese restaurants can be found throughout Sunset Park, and the area hosts a popular Chinese New Year celebration. Since the 2000s going forward, the growing concentration of the Cantonese speaking population in Brooklyn have dramatically shifted to Bensonhurst/Gravesend and Homecrest creating newer Chinatowns of Brooklyn and these newer Brooklyn Chinatowns are known as "Brooklyn's Little Hong Kong/Guangdong" due to their Chinese populations being overwhelmingly Cantonese populated.[62][63]
Caribbean and African AmericanMain article: Caribbeans in New York City
The West Indian Day Parade marching by the Brooklyn MuseumBrooklyn's African American and Caribbean communities are spread throughout much of Brooklyn. Brooklyn's West Indian community is concentrated in the Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Kensington, and Canarsie neighborhoods in central Brooklyn. Brooklyn is home to the largest community of West Indians outside of the Caribbean. Although the largest West Indian groups in Brooklyn are Jamaicans, Guyanese, and Haitians, there are West Indian immigrants from nearly every part of the Caribbean. Crown Heights and Flatbush are home to many of Brooklyn's West Indian restaurants and bakeries. Brooklyn has an annual, celebrated Carnival in the tradition of pre-Lenten celebrations in the islands.[64] Started by natives of Trinidad and Tobago, the West Indian Labor Day Parade takes place every Labor Day on Eastern Parkway. The Brooklyn Academy of Music also holds the DanceAfrica festival in late May, featuring street vendors and dance performances showcasing food and culture from all parts of Africa.[65][66] Since the opening of the IND Fulton Street Line in 1936, Bedford-Stuyvesant has been home to one of the most famous African American communities in the United States. Working-class communities remain prevalent in Brownsville, East New York and Coney Island, while remnants of similar communities in Prospect Heights, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill have endured amid widespread gentrification.
Latino AmericanFurther information: Puerto Rican migration to New York City and NuyoricanIn the aftermath of World War II and subsequent urban renewal initiatives that decimated longtime Manhattan enclaves (most notably on the Upper West Side), Puerto Rican migrants began to settle in various waterfront industrial neighborhoods (including Sunset Park, Red Hook, and Gowanus), near the shipyards and factories where they worked. The borough's Latino population diversified after the 1965 Hart-Cellar Act loosened restrictions on immigration from elsewhere in Latin America. Bushwick is the largest hub of Brooklyn's Latino American community. Like other Latino neighborhoods in New York City, Bushwick has an established Puerto Rican presence, along with an influx of many Dominicans, South Americans, Central Americans, and Mexicans. As nearly 80% of Bushwick's population is Latino, its residents have created many businesses to support their various national and distinct traditions in food and other items. Sunset Park's population is 42% Latino, made up of these various ethnic groups. Brooklyn's main Latino groups are Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Dominicans, and Ecuadorians; they are spread out throughout the borough. Puerto Ricans and Dominicans are predominant in Bushwick, Williamsburg's South Side and East New York. Mexicans (especially from the state of Puebla) now predominate alongside Chinese immigrants in Sunset Park, although remnants of the neighborhood's once-substantial postwar Puerto Rican and Dominican communities continue to reside below 39th Street. Save for Red Hook (which remained roughly one-fifth Latino American as of the 2010 Census), the South Side and Sunset Park, similar postwar communities in other waterfront neighborhoods (including western Park Slope, the north end of Greenpoint[67] and Boerum Hill, long considered the northern subsection of Gowanus) largely disappeared by the turn of the century due to various factors, including deindustrialization, ensuing gentrification and suburbanization among more affluent Dominicans and Puerto Ricans. A Panamanian enclave exists in Crown Heights.
Russian and Ukrainian AmericanMain article: Russian Americans in New York CityBrooklyn is also home to many Russians and Ukrainians, who are mainly concentrated in the areas of Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay. Brighton Beach features many Russian and Ukrainian businesses and has been nicknamed Little Russia and Little Odessa, respectively. In the 1970s, Soviet Jews won the right to immigrate, and many ended up in Brighton Beach. In recent years, the non-Jewish Russian and Ukrainian communities of Brighton Beach have grown, and the area is now home to a diverse collection of immigrants from across the former USSR. Smaller concentrations of Russian and Ukrainian Americans are scattered elsewhere in south Brooklyn, including Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Homecrest, Coney Island and Mill Basin. A growing community of Uzbek Americans have settled alongside them in recent years due to their ability to speak Russian.[68][69]
Polish AmericanBrooklyn's Polish are historically concentrated in Greenpoint, home to Little Poland. Other longstanding settlements in Borough Park and Sunset Park have endured, while more recent immigrants are scattered throughout the southern parts of Brooklyn alongside the Russian and Ukrainian American communities.
Italian AmericanMain article: Italians in New York CityDespite widespread migration to Staten Island and more suburban areas in metropolitan New York throughout the postwar era, notable concentrations of Italian Americans continue to reside in the neighborhoods of Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights, Bay Ridge, Bath Beach and Gravesend. Less perceptible remnants of older communities have persisted in Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, where the homes of the remaining Italian Americans can often be contrasted with more recent upper middle class residents through the display of small Madonna statues, the retention of plastic-metal stoop awnings and the use of Formstone in house cladding. All of the aforementioned neighborhoods have retained Italian restaurants, bakeries, delicatessens, pizzerias, cafes and social clubs.
Arab/Muslim AmericanIn the early 20th century, many Lebanese and Syrian Christians settled around Atlantic Avenue west of Flatbush Avenue in Boerum Hill; more recently, this area has evolved into a Yemeni commercial district. More recent, predominantly Muslim Arab immigrants, especially Egyptians and Lebanese, have moved into the southwest portion of Brooklyn, particularly to Bay Ridge, where many Middle Eastern restaurants, hookah lounges, halal shops, Islamic shops and mosques line the commercial thoroughfares of Fifth and Third Avenues below 86th Street. Brighton Beach is home to a growing Pakistani American community, while Midwood is home to Little Pakistan along Coney Island Avenue recently renamed Muhammad Ali Jinnah way. Pakistani Independence Day is celebrated every year with parades and parties on Coney Island Avenue. Just to the north, Kensington is one of New York's several emerging Bangladeshi enclaves.
Irish AmericanThird-, fourth- and fifth-generation Irish Americans can be found throughout Brooklyn, with moderate concentrations[clarification needed] enduring in the neighborhoods of Windsor Terrace, Park Slope, Bay Ridge, Marine Park and Gerritsen Beach. Historical communities also existed in Vinegar Hill and other waterfront industrial neighborhoods, such as Greenpoint and Sunset Park. Paralleling the Italian American community, many moved to Staten Island and suburban areas in the postwar era. Those that stayed engendered close-knit, stable working-to-middle class communities through employment in the civil service (especially in law enforcement, transportation, and the New York City Fire Department) and the building and construction trades, while others were subsumed by the professional-managerial class and largely shed the Irish American community's distinct cultural traditions (including continued worship in the Catholic Church and other social activities, such as Irish stepdance and frequenting Irish American bars).[citation needed]
Indian AmericanWhile not as extensive as the Indian American population in Queens, younger professionals of Asian Indian origin are finding Brooklyn to be a convenient alternative to Manhattan to find housing. Nearly 30,000 Indian Americans call Brooklyn home.[citation needed]
Greek AmericanBrooklyn's Greek Americans live throughout the borough. A historical concentration has endured in Bay Ridge and adjacent areas, where there is a noticeable cluster of Hellenic-focused schools, businesses and cultural institutions. Other businesses are situated in Downtown Brooklyn near Atlantic Avenue. As in much of the New York metropolitan area, Greek-owned diners are found throughout the borough.
LGBTQ communityMain article: LGBT culture in New York City § BrooklynBrooklyn is home to a large and growing number of same-sex couples. Same-sex marriages in New York were legalized on June 24, 2011, and were authorized to take place beginning 30 days thereafter.[70] The Park Slope neighborhood spearheaded the popularity of Brooklyn among lesbians, and Prospect Heights has an LGBT residential presence.[71] Numerous neighborhoods have since become home to LGBT communities. Brooklyn Liberation March, the largest transgender-rights demonstration in LGBTQ history, took place on June 14, 2020, stretching from Grand Army Plaza to Fort Greene, focused on supporting Black transgender lives, drawing an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 became a preferred site for artists and hipsters to set up live/work spaces after being priced out of the same types of living arrangements in Manhattan. Various neighborhoods in Brooklyn, including Williamsburg, DUMBO, Red Hook, and Park Slope evolved as popular neighborhoods for artists-in-residence. However, rents and costs of living have since increased dramatically in these same neighborhoods, forcing artists to move to somewhat less expensive neighborhoods in Brooklyn or across Upper New York Bay to locales in New Jersey, such as Jersey City or Hoboken.[74]
DemographicsMain article: Demographics of BrooklynHistorical populationYearPop.±%17312,150— 17562,707+25.9%17713,623+33.8%17863,966+9.5%17904,549+14.7%18005,740+26.2%18108,303+44.7%182011,187+34.7%183020,535+83.6%184047,613+131.9%1850138,822+191.6%1860279,122+101.1%1870419,921+50.4%1880599,495+42.8%1890838,547+39.9%19001,166,582+39.1%19101,634,351+40.1%19202,018,356+23.5%19302,560,401+26.9%19402,698,285+5.4%19502,738,175+1.5%19602,627,319−4.0%19702,602,012−1.0%19802,230,936−14.3%19902,300,664+3.1%20002,465,326+7.2%20102,504,700+1.6%20202,736,074+9.2%1731–1786[75]U.S. Decennial Census[76]1790–1960[77] 1900–1990[78]1990–2000[79] 2010[80] 2020[1]Source:U.S. Decennial Census[81]New York City's five boroughsvteJurisdictionPopulationLand areaDensity of populationGDP †BoroughCountyCensus(2020)squaremilessquarekmpeople/sq. milepeople/sq. kmbillions(2012 US$) 2The BronxBronx1,472,65442.2109.334,92013,482$38.726BrooklynKings2,736,07469.4179.739,43815,227$92.300ManhattanNew York1,694,25122.758.874,78128,872$651.619QueensQueens2,405,464108.7281.522,1258,542$88.578Staten IslandRichmond495,74757.5148.98,6183,327$14.806City of New York8,804,190302.6783.829,09511,234$885.958State of New York20,215,75147,126.4122,056.8429166$1,514.779† GDP = Gross Domestic Product Sources:[82][83][84][85] and see individual borough articles.Racial composition2020[86]2010[87]1990[50]1950[50]1900[50]White37.6%42.8%46.9%92.2%98.3%—Non-Hispanic35.4%35.7%40.1%n/an/aBlack or African American26.7%34.3%37.9%7.6%1.6%Hispanic or Latino (of any race)18.9%19.8%20.1%n/an/aAsian13.6%10.5%4.8%0.1%0.1%Two or more races8.7%3.0%n/an/an/aAt the 2020 census, 2,736,074 people lived in Brooklyn. The United States Census Bureau had estimated Brooklyn's population increased 2.2% to 2,559,903 between 2010 and 2019. Brooklyn's estimated population represented 30.7% of New York City's estimated population of 8,336,817; 33.5% of Long Island's population of 7,701,172; and 13.2% of New York State's population of 19,542,209.[88] In 2020, the government of New York City projected Brooklyn's population at 2,648,403.[89] The 2019 census estimates determined there were 958,567 households with an average of 2.66 persons per household.[90] There were 1,065,399 housing units in 2019 and a median gross rent of $1,426. Citing growth, Brooklyn gained 9,696 building permits at the 2019 census estimates program.Ethnic origins in BrooklynEthnic groupsAncestry in Brooklyn Borough (2014-2018)[91][92][93][not specific enough to verify]OriginpercentAfrican American (Does not include West Indian or African) 16.4%West Indian American (Except Hispanic Groups) 11.5%East Asian American (Includes Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, etc.) 8.4%English American (*Includes "American" ancestry) 7.6%Puerto Rican American 5.7%Italian American 4.8%Russian and Eastern European (Includes Russian, Ukrainian, Soviet Union, etc.) 4.3%Central European (Includes Slovakian, Slovenian, Slavic, Czech, etc.) 4.2%Mexican American 4.1%Irish American 3.8%Dominican American 3.5%German American 2.8%South Asian American 2.4%South American (Includes Peruvian, Ecuadorian, Argentinian, etc.) 2.3%Sub-Saharan African (Includes Ethiopian, Nigerian, etc.) 2%Central American (Includes Honduran, Salvadoran, Costa Rican, etc.) 1.9%Other[a] 14.7%The 2020 American Community Survey estimated the racial and ethnic makeup of Brooklyn was 35.4% non-Hispanic white, 26.7% Black or African American, 0.9% American Indian or Alaska Native, 13.6% Asian, 0.1% Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander, 4.1% two or more races, and 18.9% Hispanic or Latin American of any race.[94] According to the 2010 United States census, Brooklyn's population was 42.8% White, including 35.7% non-Hispanic White; 34.3% Black, including 31.9% non-Hispanic black; 10.5% Asian; 0.5% Native American; 0.0% (rounded) Pacific Islander; 3.0% Multiracial American; and 8.8% from other races. Hispanics and Latinos made up 19.8% of Brooklyn's population.[95] In 2010, Brooklyn had some neighborhoods segregated based on race, ethnicity, and religion. Overall, the southwest half of Brooklyn is racially mixed although it contains few black residents; the northeast section is mostly black and has a high degree of linguistic diversity. As of 2010, 54.1% (1,240,416) of Brooklyn residents ages 5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language, while 17.2% (393,340) spoke Spanish, 6.5% (148,012) Chinese, 5.3% (121,607) Russian, 3.5% (79,469) Yiddish, 2.8% (63,019) French Creole, 1.4% (31,004) Italian, 1.2% (27,440) Hebrew, 1.0% (23,207) Polish, 1.0% (22,763) French, 1.0% (21,773) Arabic, 0.9% (19,388) various Indic languages, 0.7% (15,936) Urdu, and African languages were spoken as a main language by 0.5% (12,305) of the population over the age of five. In total, 45.9% (1,051,456) of Brooklyn's population ages 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.[97]
CultureMain article: Culture of BrooklynSee also: Culture of New York City, LGBT culture in New York City § Brooklyn, and Media of New York City
The Brooklyn Museum on Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch at Grand Army PlazaBrooklyn has played a major role in various aspects of American culture including literature, cinema, and theater. The Brooklyn accent has often been portrayed as the "typical New York accent" in American media, although this accent and stereotype are supposedly fading out.[98] Brooklyn's official colors are blue and gold.[99]
Cultural venuesBrooklyn hosts the world-renowned Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and the second-largest public art collection in the United States, housed in the Brooklyn Museum.
The Brooklyn Museum, opened in 1897, is New York City's second-largest public art museum. It has in its permanent collection more than 1.5 million objects, from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art. The Brooklyn Children's Museum, the world's first museum dedicated to children, opened in December 1899. The only such New York State institution accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, it is one of the few globally to have a permanent collection – over 30,000 cultural objects and natural history specimens.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) includes a 2,109-seat opera house, an 874-seat theater, and the art-house BAM Rose Cinemas. Bargemusic and St. Ann's Warehouse are on the other side of Downtown Brooklyn in the DUMBO arts district. Brooklyn Technical High School has the second-largest auditorium in New York City (after Radio City Music Hall), with a seating capacity of over 3,000.[100]
MediaLocal periodicalsBrooklyn has several local newspapers: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Bay Currents (Oceanfront Brooklyn), Brooklyn View, The Brooklyn Paper, and Courier-Life Publications. Courier-Life Publications, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, is Brooklyn's largest chain of newspapers. Brooklyn is also served by the major New York dailies, including The New York Times, the New York Daily News, and the New York Post. Several others are now defunct, including the Brooklyn Union (1867-1937),[101][102] and the Brooklyn Times.[101]
The borough is home to the arts and politics monthly Brooklyn Rail, as well as the arts and cultural quarterly Cabinet. Hello Mr. is also published in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Magazine is one of the few glossy magazines about Brooklyn. Several others are now defunct, including BKLYN Magazine (a bimonthly lifestyle book owned by Joseph McCarthy, that saw itself as a vehicle for high-end advertisers in Manhattan and was mailed to 80,000 high-income households), Brooklyn Bridge Magazine, The Brooklynite (a free, glossy quarterly edited by Daniel Treiman), and NRG (edited by Gail Johnson and originally marketed as a local periodical for Clinton Hill and Fort Greene, but expanded in scope to become the self-proclaimed "Pulse of Brooklyn" and then the "Pulse of New York").[103]
Ethnic pressBrooklyn has a thriving ethnic press. El Diario La Prensa, the largest and oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper in the United States, maintains its corporate headquarters at 1 MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn.[104] Major ethnic publications include the Brooklyn-Queens Catholic paper The Tablet, Hamodia, an Orthodox Jewish daily and The Jewish Press, an Orthodox Jewish weekly. Many nationally distributed ethnic newspapers are based in Brooklyn. Over 60 ethnic groups, writing in 42 languages, publish some 300 non-English language magazines and newspapers in New York City. Among them is the quarterly "L'Idea", a bilingual magazine printed in Italian and English since 1974. In addition, many newspapers published abroad, such as The Daily Gleaner and The Star of Jamaica, are available in Brooklyn.[citation needed] Our Time Press published weekly by DBG Media covers the Village of Brooklyn with a motto of "The Local paper with the Global-View".
TelevisionThe City of New York has an official television station, run by NYC Media, which features programming based in Brooklyn. Brooklyn Community Access Television is the borough's public access channel.[105] Its studios are at the BRIC Arts Media venue, called BRIC House, located on Fulton Street in the Fort Greene section of the borough.[106]
EventsThe annual Coney Island Mermaid Parade (mid-to-late June) is a costume-and-float parade.[107]Coney Island also hosts the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest (July 4).[107]The annual Labor Day Carnival (also known as the Labor Day Parade or West Indian Day Parade) takes place along Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights.The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival runs annually around the second week of June.[108]EconomySee also: Economy of New York City
The USS North Carolina, launched at Brooklyn Navy Yard, June 1940
Newer buildings near East River State ParkBrooklyn's job market is driven by three main factors: the performance of the national and city economy, population flows and the borough's position as a convenient back office for New York's businesses.[109]
Forty-four percent of Brooklyn's employed population, or 410,000 people, work in the borough; more than half of the borough's residents work outside its boundaries. As a result, economic conditions in Manhattan are important to the borough's jobseekers. Strong international immigration to Brooklyn generates jobs in services, retailing and construction.[109]
Since the late 20th century, Brooklyn has benefited from a steady influx of financial back office operations from Manhattan, the rapid growth of a high-tech and entertainment economy in DUMBO, and strong growth in support services such as accounting, personal supply agencies, and computer services firms.[109]
Jobs in the borough have traditionally been concentrated in manufacturing, but since 1975, Brooklyn has shifted from a manufacturing-based to a service-based economy. In 2004, 215,000 Brooklyn residents worked in the services sector, while 27,500 worked in manufacturing. Although manufacturing has declined, a substantial base has remained in apparel and niche manufacturing concerns such as furniture, fabricated metals, and food products.[110] The pharmaceutical company Pfizer was founded in Brooklyn in 1869 and had a manufacturing plant in the borough for many years that employed thousands of workers, but the plant shut down in 2008. However, new light-manufacturing concerns packaging organic and high-end food have sprung up in the old plant.[111]
First established as a shipbuilding facility in 1801, the Brooklyn Navy Yard employed 70,000 people at its peak during World War II and was then the largest employer in the borough. The Missouri, the ship on which the Japanese formally surrendered, was built there, as was the Maine, whose sinking off Havana led to the start of the Spanish–American War. The iron-sided Civil War vessel the Monitor was built in Greenpoint. From 1968 to 1979 Seatrain Shipbuilding was the major employer.[112] Later tenants include industrial design firms, food processing businesses, artisans, and the film and television production industry. About 230 private-sector firms providing 4,000 jobs are at the Yard.
Construction and services are the fastest growing sectors.[113] Most employers in Brooklyn are small businesses. In 2000, 91% of the approximately 38,704 business establishments in Brooklyn had fewer than 20 employees.[114] As of August 2008, the borough's unemployment rate was 5.9%.[115]
Brooklyn is also home to many banks and credit unions. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, there were 37 banks and 26 credit unions operating in the borough in 2010.[116][117]
The rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn has generated over US$10 billion of private investment and $300 million in public improvements since 2004. Brooklyn is also attracting numerous high technology start-up companies, as Silicon Alley, the metonym for New York City's entrepreneurship ecosystem, has expanded from Lower Manhattan into Brooklyn.[118]
Parks and other attractionsSee also: Tourism in New York City
Kwanzan Cherries in bloom at Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Astroland in Coney IslandBrooklyn Botanic Garden: adjacent to Prospect Park is the 52-acre (21 ha) botanical garden, which includes a cherry tree esplanade, a one-acre (0.4 ha) rose garden, a Japanese hill, and pond garden, a fragrance garden, a water lily pond esplanade, several conservatories, a rock garden, a native flora garden, a bonsai tree collection, and children's gardens and discovery exhibits.Coney Island developed as a playground for the rich in the early 1900s, but it grew as one of America's first amusem*nt grounds and attracted crowds from all over New York. The Cyclone rollercoaster, built-in 1927, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The 1920 Wonder Wheel and other rides are still operational. Coney Island went into decline in the 1970s but has undergone a renaissance.[119]Floyd Bennett Field: the first municipal airport in New York City and long-closed for operations, is now part of the National Park System. Many of the historic hangars and runways are still extant. Nature trails and diverse habitats are found within the park, including salt marsh and a restored area of shortgrass prairie that was once widespread on the Hempstead Plains.Green-Wood Cemetery, founded by the social reformer Henry Evelyn Pierrepont in 1838, is an early Rural cemetery. It is the burial ground of many notable New Yorkers.Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge: a unique Federal wildlife refuge straddling the Brooklyn-Queens border, part of Gateway National Recreation AreaNew York Transit Museum displays historical artifacts of Greater New York's subway, commuter rail, and bus systems; it is at Court Street, a former Independent Subway System station in Brooklyn Heights on the Fulton Street Line.Prospect Park is a public park in central Brooklyn encompassing 585 acres (2.37 km2).[120] The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who created Manhattan's Central Park. Attractions include the Long Meadow, a 90-acre (36 ha) meadow, the Picnic House, which houses offices and a hall that can accommodate parties with up to 175 guests; Litchfield Villa, Prospect Park Zoo, the Boathouse, housing a visitors center and the first urban Audubon Center;[121] Brooklyn's only lake, covering 60 acres (24 ha); the Prospect Park Bandshell that hosts free outdoor concerts in the summertime; and various sports and fitness activities including seven baseball fields. Prospect Park hosts a popular annual Halloween Parade.Fort Greene Park is a public park in the Fort Greene Neighborhood. The park contains the Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument, a monument to American prisoners during the revolutionary war.SportsMain article: Sports in Brooklyn
Barclays Center in Pacific Park within Prospect Heights, home of the Nets and LibertyBrooklyn's major professional sports team is the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. The Nets moved into the borough in 2012, and play their home games at Barclays Center in Prospect Heights. Previously, the Nets had played in Uniondale, New York and in New Jersey.[122] In April 2020, the New York Liberty of the WNBA were sold to the Nets' owners and moved their home venue from Madison Square Garden to the Barclays Center.
Barclays Center was also the home arena for the NHL's New York Islanders full-time from 2015 to 2018, then part-time from 2018 to 2020 (alternating with Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale). The Islanders had originally played at Nassau Coliseum full-time since their inception until 2015 when their lease at the venue expired and the team moved to Barclays Center. In 2020, the team returned to Nassau Coliseum full-time for one season before moving to the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York in 2021.
Brooklyn also has a storied sports history. It has been home to many famous sports figures such as Joe Paterno, Vince Lombardi, Mike Tyson, Joe Torre, Sandy Koufax, Billy Cunningham and Vitas Gerulaitis. Basketball legend Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn though he grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina.
In the earliest days of organized baseball, Brooklyn teams dominated the new game. The second recorded game of baseball was played near what is today Fort Greene Park on October 24, 1845. Brooklyn's Excelsiors, Atlantics and Eckfords were the leading teams from the mid-1850s through the Civil War, and there were dozens of local teams with neighborhood league play, such as at Mapleton Oval.[123] During this "Brooklyn era", baseball evolved into the modern game: the first fastball, first changeup, first batting average, first triple play, first pro baseball player, first enclosed ballpark, first scorecard, first known African-American team, first black championship game, first road trip, first gambling scandal, and first eight pennant winners were all in or from Brooklyn.[124]
Brooklyn's most famous historical team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, named for "trolley dodgers" played at Ebbets Field.[125] In 1947 Jackie Robinson was hired by the Dodgers as the first African-American player in Major League Baseball in the modern era. In 1955, the Dodgers, perennial National League pennant winners, won the only World Series for Brooklyn against their rival New York Yankees. The event was marked by mass euphoria and celebrations. Just two years later, the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles. Walter O'Malley, the team's owner at the time, is still vilified, even by Brooklynites too young to remember the Dodgers as Brooklyn's ball club.
After a 43-year hiatus, professional baseball returned to the borough in 2001 with the Brooklyn Cyclones, a minor league team that plays in MCU Park in Coney Island. They are an affiliate of the New York Mets. The New York Cosmos of the NASL began playing at MCU Park in 2017.[126]
Brooklyn once had a National Football League team named the Brooklyn Lions in 1926, who played at Ebbets Field.[127]
In Rugby union, Rugby United New York joined Major League Rugby in 2019, and play their home games at MCU Park. In Rugby league, existing USARL club Brooklyn Kings joined the professional North American Rugby League competition for its inaugural 2021 season.
Brooklyn has one of the most active recreational fishing fleets in the United States. In addition to a large private fleet along Jamaica Bay, there is a substantial public fleet within Sheepshead Bay. Species caught include Black Fish, Porgy, Striped Bass, Black Sea Bass, Fluke, and Flounder.[128][129][130]
Government and politicsSee also: Government and politics in Brooklyn
Brooklyn Borough HallEach of New York City's five counties (coterminous with each borough) has its own criminal court system and District Attorney, the chief public prosecutor who is directly elected by popular vote. Charles J. Hynes, a Democrat, was the District Attorney of Kings County from 1990 to 2013. Brooklyn has 16 City Council members, the largest number of any of the five boroughs. The Brooklyn Borough Government includes a borough government president as well as a court, library, borough government board, head of borough government, deputy head of borough government and deputy borough government president.
Brooklyn has 18 of the city's 59 community districts, each served by an unpaid community board with advisory powers under the city's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. Each board has a paid district manager who acts as an interlocutor with city agencies. The Kings County Democratic County Committee (aka the Brooklyn Democratic Party) is the county committee of the Democratic Party in Brooklyn.
Federal representationUnited States presidential election results forKings County, New York[131][132][133]YearRepublicanDemocraticThird partyNo. %No. %No. %2020202,77222.14%703,31076.78%9,9271.08%2016141,04417.51%640,55379.51%24,0082.98%2012124,55116.90%604,44382.02%7,9881.08%2008151,87219.99%603,52579.43%4,4510.59%2004167,14924.30%514,97374.86%5,7620.84%200096,60915.65%497,51380.60%23,1153.74%199681,40615.08%432,23280.07%26,1954.85%1992133,34422.93%411,18370.70%37,0676.37%1988178,96132.60%363,91666.28%6,1421.12%1984230,06438.29%368,51861.34%2,1890.36%1980200,30638.44%288,89355.44%31,8936.12%1976190,72831.08%419,38268.34%3,5330.58%1972373,90348.96%387,76850.78%1,9490.26%1968247,93631.99%489,17463.12%37,8594.89%1964229,29125.05%684,83974.80%1,3730.15%1960327,49733.51%646,58266.16%3,2270.33%1956460,45645.23%557,65554.77%00.00%1952446,70839.82%656,22958.50%18,7651.67%1948330,49430.49%579,92253.51%173,40116.00%1944393,92634.01%758,27065.46%6,1680.53%1940394,53434.44%742,66864.83%8,3650.73%1936212,85221.85%738,30675.78%23,1432.38%1932192,53625.04%514,17266.86%62,3008.10%1928245,62236.13%404,39359.48%29,8224.39%1924236,87747.50%158,90731.87%102,90320.63%1920292,69263.32%119,61225.88%49,94410.80%1916120,75246.90%125,62548.79%11,0804.30%191251,23920.94%109,74844.86%83,67634.20%1908119,78950.64%96,75640.90%20,0258.46%1904113,24648.12%111,85547.53%10,2164.34%1900108,97749.57%106,23248.32%4,6392.11%1896109,13556.35%76,88239.70%7,6593.95%189270,50539.97%100,16056.78%5,7203.24%188870,05245.49%82,50753.58%1,4300.93%188453,51642.37%69,26454.83%3,5412.80%188051,75145.66%61,06253.88%5160.46%187639,06640.41%57,55659.53%620.06%187233,36946.68%38,10853.31%100.01%186827,70741.02%39,83858.98%00.00%186420,83844.75%25,72655.25%00.00%186015,88343.56%20,58356.44%00.00%18567,84625.58%14,17446.22%8,64728.20%18528,49643.97%10,62855.00%1991.03%18487,51156.59%4,88236.78%8796.62%18445,10751.94%4,64847.27%770.78%18403,29350.86%3,15748.76%240.37%18361,86844.59%2,32155.41%00.00%18321,26442.06%1,74157.94%00.00%18281,05343.84%1,34956.16%00.00%As is the case with sister boroughs Manhattan and the Bronx, Brooklyn has not voted for a Republican in a national presidential election since Calvin Coolidge in 1924. In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 79.4% of the vote in Brooklyn while Republican John McCain received 20.0%. In 2012, Barack Obama increased his Democratic margin of victory in the borough, dominating Brooklyn with 82.0% of the vote to Republican Mitt Romney's 16.9%.
In 2020, four Democrats and one Republican represented Brooklyn in the United States House of Representatives. One congressional district lies entirely within the borough.[134]
Nydia Velázquez (first elected in 1992) represents New York's 7th congressional district, which includes the central-west Brooklyn neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Bushwick, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Dumbo, East New York, East Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Gowanus, Red Hook, Sunset Park, and Williamsburg. The district also covers a small portion of Queens.[134]Hakeem Jeffries (first elected in 2012) represents New York's 8th congressional district, which includes the southern Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Bergen Beach, Brighton Beach, Brownsville, Canarsie, Clinton Hill, Coney Island, East Flatbush, East New York, Fort Greene, Gerritsen Beach, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Ocean Hill, Sheepshead Bay, and Spring Creek. The district also covers a small portion of Queens.[134]Yvette Clarke (first elected in 2006) represents New York's 9th congressional district, which includes the central and southern Brooklyn neighborhoods of Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Midwood, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and Windsor Terrace.[134]Jerrold Nadler (first elected in 1992) represents New York's 10th congressional district, which includes the southwestern Brooklyn neighborhoods of Midwood, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Gravesend, Kensington, and Mapleton. The district also covers the West Side of Manhattan.[134]Nicole Malliotakis (first elected in 2020) represents New York's 11th congressional district, which includes the southwestern Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Bath Beach, Bay Ridge, and Dyker Heights. The district also covers all of Staten Island.[134]Party affiliation of Brooklyn registered voters(relative percentages)Party2005200420032002200120001999199819971996Democratic69.769. affiliation16.516.916.116.216.316.515.915.515.415.2The United States Postal Service operates post offices in Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Main Post Office is located at 271 Cadman Plaza East in Downtown Brooklyn.[135]
EducationSee also: Education in New York City and List of high schools in New York City
Brooklyn Tech as seen from Ashland Place in Fort Greene
The Brooklyn College library, part of the original campus laid out by Randolph Evans, now known as "East Quad"
Brooklyn Law School's 1994 new classical "Fell Hall" tower, by architect Robert A. M. Stern
NYU Tandon Wunsch Building
St. Francis College Administration BuildingEducation in Brooklyn is provided by a vast number of public and private institutions. Non-charter public schools in the borough are managed by the New York City Department of Education,[136] the largest public school system in the United States.
Brooklyn Technical High School (commonly called Brooklyn Tech), a New York City public high school, is the largest specialized high school for science, mathematics, and technology in the United States.[137] Brooklyn Tech opened in 1922. Brooklyn Tech is across the street from Fort Greene Park. This high school was built from 1930 to 1933 at a cost of about $6 million and is 12 stories high. It covers about half of a city block.[138] Brooklyn Tech is noted for its famous alumni[139] (including two Nobel Laureates), its academics, and a large number of graduates attending prestigious universities.
Higher educationPublic collegesBrooklyn College is a senior college of the City University of New York, and was the first public coeducational liberal arts college in New York City. The college ranked in the top 10 nationally for the second consecutive year in Princeton Review's 2006 guidebook, America's Best Value Colleges. Many of its students are first and second-generation Americans. Founded in 1970, Medgar Evers College is a senior college of the City University of New York. The college offers programs at the baccalaureate and associate degree levels, as well as adult and continuing education classes for central Brooklyn residents, corporations, government agencies, and community organizations. Medgar Evers College is a few blocks east of Prospect Park in Crown Heights.
CUNY's New York City College of Technology (City Tech) of The City University of New York (CUNY) (Downtown Brooklyn/Brooklyn Heights) is the largest public college of technology in New York State and a national model for technological education. Established in 1946, City Tech can trace its roots to 1881 when the Technical Schools of the Metropolitan Museum of Art were renamed the New York Trade School. That institution—which became the Voorhees Technical Institute many decades later—was soon a model for the development of technical and vocational schools worldwide. In 1971, Voorhees was incorporated into City Tech.
SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, founded as the Long Island College Hospital in 1860, is the oldest hospital-based medical school in the United States. The Medical Center comprises the College of Medicine, College of Health Related Professions, College of Nursing, School of Public Health, School of Graduate Studies, and University Hospital of Brooklyn. The Nobel Prize winner Robert F. Furchgott was a member of its faculty. Half of the Medical Center's students are minorities or immigrants. The College of Medicine has the highest percentage of minority students of any medical school in New York State.
Private collegesBrooklyn Law School was founded in 1901 and is notable for its diverse student body. Women and African Americans were enrolled in 1909. According to the Leiter Report, a compendium of law school rankings published by Brian Leiter, Brooklyn Law School places 31st nationally for the quality of students.[140]
Long Island University is a private university headquartered in Brookville on Long Island, with a campus in Downtown Brooklyn with 6,417 undergraduate students. The Brooklyn campus has strong science and medical technology programs, at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
Pratt Institute, in Clinton Hill, is a private college founded in 1887 with programs in engineering, architecture, and the arts. Some buildings in the school's Brooklyn campus are official landmarks. Pratt has over 4700 students, with most at its Brooklyn campus. Graduate programs include a library and information science, architecture, and urban planning. Undergraduate programs include architecture, construction management, writing, critical and visual studies, industrial design and fine arts, totaling over 25 programs in all.
The New York University Tandon School of Engineering, the United States' second oldest private institute of technology, founded in 1854, has its main campus in Downtown's MetroTech Center, a commercial, civic and educational redevelopment project of which it was a key sponsor. NYU-Tandon is one of the 18 schools and colleges that comprise New York University (NYU).[141][142][143][144]
St. Francis College is a Catholic college in Brooklyn Heights founded in 1859 by Franciscan friars. Today, over 2,400 students attend the small liberal arts college. St. Francis is considered by The New York Times as one of the more diverse colleges, and was ranked one of the best baccalaureate colleges by Forbes magazine and U.S. News & World Report.[145][146][147]
Brooklyn also has smaller liberal arts institutions, such as Saint Joseph's College in Clinton Hill and Boricua College in Williamsburg.
Community collegesKingsborough Community College is a junior college in the City University of New York system in Manhattan Beach.
Brooklyn Public Library
The Central Library at Grand Army PlazaAs an independent system, separate from the New York and Queens public library systems, the Brooklyn Public Library[148] offers thousands of public programs, millions of books, and use of more than 850 free Internet-accessible computers. It also has books and periodicals in all the major languages spoken in Brooklyn, including English, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Hebrew, and Haitian Creole, as well as French, Yiddish, Hindi, Bengali, Polish, Italian, and Arabic. The Central Library is a landmarked building facing Grand Army Plaza.
There are 58 library branches, placing one within a half-mile of each Brooklyn resident. In addition to its specialized Business Library in Brooklyn Heights, the Library is preparing to construct its new Visual & Performing Arts Library (VPA) in the BAM Cultural District, which will focus on the link between new and emerging arts and technology and house traditional and digital collections. It will provide access and training to arts applications and technologies not widely available to the public. The collections will include the subjects of art, theater, dance, music, film, photography, and architecture. A special archive will house the records and history of Brooklyn's arts communities.
TransportationPublic transportSee also: Transportation in New York CityAbout 57 percent of all households in Brooklyn were households without automobiles. The citywide rate is 55 percent in New York City.[149]Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue subway station
Atlantic Terminal is a major hub in Brooklyn.Brooklyn features extensive public transit. Nineteen New York City Subway services, including the Franklin Avenue Shuttle, traverse the borough. Approximately 92.8% of Brooklyn residents traveling to Manhattan use the subway, despite the fact some neighborhoods like Flatlands and Marine Park are poorly served by subway service. Major stations, out of the 170 currently in Brooklyn, include:
Atlantic Avenue–Barclays CenterBroadway JunctionDeKalb AvenueJay Street–MetroTechConey Island–Stillwell Avenue[150]Proposed New York City Subway lines never built include a line along Nostrand or Utica Avenues to Marine Park,[151] as well as a subway line to Spring Creek.[152][153]
Brooklyn was once served by an extensive network of streetcars, but many were replaced by the public bus network that covers the entire borough. There is also daily express bus service into Manhattan.[154] New York's famous yellow cabs also provide transportation in Brooklyn, although they are less numerous in the borough. There are three commuter rail stations in Brooklyn: East New York, Nostrand Avenue, and Atlantic Terminal, the terminus of the Atlantic Branch of the Long Island Rail Road. The terminal is near the Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center subway station, with ten connecting subway services.
In February 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city government would begin a citywide ferry service called NYC Ferry to extend ferry transportation to communities in the city that have been traditionally underserved by public transit.[155][156] The ferry opened in May 2017,[157][158] with the Bay Ridge ferry serving southwestern Brooklyn and the East River Ferry serving northwestern Brooklyn. A third route, the Rockaway ferry, makes one stop in the borough at Brooklyn Army Terminal.[159]
A streetcar line, the Brooklyn–Queens Connector, was proposed by the city in February 2016,[160] with the planned timeline calling for service to begin around 2024.[161]
RoadwaysSee also: Brooklyn streets and List of lettered Brooklyn avenues
The Marine Parkway Bridge
Williamsburg Bridge, as seen from Wallabout Bay with Greenpoint and Long Island City in backgroundMost of the limited-access expressways and parkways are in the western and southern sections of Brooklyn, where the borough's two interstate highways are located; Interstate 278, which uses the Gowanus Expressway and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, traverses Sunset Park and Brooklyn Heights, while Interstate 478 is an unsigned route designation for the Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel, which connects to Manhattan.[162] Other prominent roadways are the Prospect Expressway (New York State Route 27), the Belt Parkway, and the Jackie Robinson Parkway (formerly the Interborough Parkway). Planned expressways that were never built include the Bushwick Expressway, an extension of I-78[163] and the Cross-Brooklyn Expressway, I-878.[164] Major thoroughfares include Atlantic Avenue, Fourth Avenue, 86th Street, Kings Highway, Bay Parkway, Ocean Parkway, Eastern Parkway, Linden Boulevard, McGuinness Boulevard, Flatbush Avenue, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Nostrand Avenue.
Much of Brooklyn has only named streets, but Park Slope, Bay Ridge, Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, and Borough Park and the other western sections have numbered streets running approximately northwest to southeast, and numbered avenues going approximately northeast to southwest. East of Dahill Road, lettered avenues (like Avenue M) run east and west, and numbered streets have the prefix "East". South of Avenue O, related numbered streets west of Dahill Road use the "West" designation. This set of numbered streets ranges from West 37th Street to East 108 Street, and the avenues range from A–Z with names substituted for some of them in some neighborhoods (notably Albemarle, Beverley, Cortelyou, Dorchester, Ditmas, Foster, Farragut, Glenwood, Quentin). Numbered streets prefixed by "North" and "South" in Williamsburg, and "Bay", "Beach", "Brighton", "Plumb", "Paerdegat" or "Flatlands" along the southern and southwestern waterfront are loosely based on the old grids of the original towns of Kings County that eventually consolidated to form Brooklyn. These names often reflect the bodies of water or beaches around them, such as Plumb Beach or Paerdegat Basin.
Brooklyn is connected to Manhattan by three bridges, the Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Williamsburg Bridge; a vehicular tunnel, the Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel (also known as the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel); and several subway tunnels. The Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge links Brooklyn with the more suburban borough of Staten Island. Though much of its border is on land, Brooklyn shares several water crossings with Queens, including the Pulaski Bridge, the Greenpoint Avenue Bridge, the Kosciuszko Bridge (part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway), and the Grand Street Bridge, all of which carry traffic over Newtown Creek, and the Marine Parkway Bridge connecting Brooklyn to the Rockaway Peninsula.
WaterwaysBrooklyn was long a major shipping port, especially at the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Bush Terminal in Sunset Park. Most container ship cargo operations have shifted to the New Jersey side of New York Harbor, while the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook is a focal point for New York's growing cruise industry. The Queen Mary 2, one of the world's largest ocean liners, was designed specifically to fit under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the United States. She makes regular ports of call at the Red Hook terminal on her transatlantic crossings from Southampton, England.[159] The Brooklyn waterfront formerly employed tens of thousands of borough residents and acted as an incubator for industries across the entire city, and the decline of the port exacerbated Brooklyn's decline in the second half of the 20th century.
In February 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city government would begin NYC Ferry to extend ferry transportation to traditionally underserved communities in the city.[155][156] The ferry opened in May 2017,[157][158] offering commuter services from the western shore of Brooklyn to Manhattan via three routes. The East River Ferry serves points in Lower Manhattan, Midtown, Long Island City, and northwestern Brooklyn via its East River route. The South Brooklyn and Rockaway routes serve southwestern Brooklyn before terminating in lower Manhattan. Ferries to Coney Island are also planned.[159] NY Waterway offers tours and charters. SeaStreak also offers a weekday ferry service between the Brooklyn Army Terminal and the Manhattan ferry slips at Pier 11/Wall Street downtown and East 34th Street Ferry Landing in midtown. A Cross-Harbor Rail Tunnel, originally proposed in the 1920s as a core project for the then-new Port Authority of New York is again being studied and discussed as a way to ease freight movements across a large swath of the metropolitan area.
Manhattan BridgeManhattan Bridge seen from Brooklyn Bridge ParkPartnerships with districts of foreign citiesSee also: New York City § Sister citiesAnzio, Lazio, Italy (since 1990)Huế, VietnamGdynia, Poland (since 1991)[165]Beşiktaş, Istanbul Province, Turkey (since 2005)[166]Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria (since 2007)[167][168][169]London Borough of Lambeth, United Kingdom[170]Bnei Brak, Israel[171]Konak, İzmir, Turkey (since 2010)[172]Chaoyang District, Beijing, China (since 2014)[173]Yiwu, China (since 2014)[173]Üsküdar, Istanbul, Turkey (since 2015)[174]Hospitals and healthcareMain article: List of hospitals in BrooklynBrookdale University Hospital and Medical Center[175]Kings County Hospital CenterNYC Health + Hospitals/Kings CountyNYU Langone hospital- BrooklynMethodist hospitalMaimonides HospitalMt. Sinai BrooklynSUNY DOWNSTATE MEDICAL CENTERSee alsoGeneral linksList of people from BrooklynList of tallest buildings in BrooklynNational Register of Historic Places listings in Kings County, New YorkUSS Brooklyn, 3 ships
History of IslandCrown HeightsEast UtrechtPark SlopeWilliamsburg
General historyBrooklyn Visual HeritageHistory of New York CityList of former municipalities in New York CityTimeline of Brooklyn historyPortals:Flag New York CityFlag New York (state)NotesMostly Multiracial American, other Asian or other European ancestry
The Central Park Zoo is a 6.5-acre (2.6 ha) zoo located at the southeast corner of Central Park in New York City. It is part of an integrated system of four zoos and one aquarium managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). In conjunction with the Central Park Zoo's operations, the WCS offers children's educational programs, is engaged in restoration of endangered species populations, and reaches out to the local community through volunteer programs.
Its precursor, a menagerie, was founded in 1864, becoming the first public zoo to open in New York. The present facility first opened as a city zoo on December 2, 1934, and was part of a larger revitalization program of city parks, playgrounds and zoos initiated in 1934 by New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) commissioner Robert Moses. It was built, in large part, through Civil Works Administration and Works Progress Administration (WPA) labor and funding. The Children's Zoo opened to the north of the main zoo in 1960, using funding from a donation by Senator Herbert Lehman and his wife Edith.
After 49 years of operation as a city zoo run by NYC Parks, Central Park Zoo closed in 1983 for reconstruction. The closure was part of a five-year, $35 million renovation program, that completely replaced the zoo's cages with naturalistic Environments. It was rededicated on August 8, 1988, as part of a system of five facilities managed by the WCS, all of which are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).[a]
AreasMapWikimedia | © OpenStreetMapNotable buildings and structures of Central Park. Click on the map and then on the points for details.This map: viewtalkeditThe Central Park Zoo is part of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), an integrated network of four zoos and an aquarium spread throughout New York City.[a] Located at East 64th Street and Fifth Avenue, the zoo is situated on a 6.5-acre (2.6 ha)[3] plot in Central Park. Visitors may enter through the Fifth Avenue entrance or from within Central Park.[4]
The Central Park Zoo is a major tourist attraction within Central Park, drawing more than one million people every year. According to a 2011 study by the Central Park Conservancy, the zoo and its surroundings were visited by an estimated four million people each year.[5]: 9  However, the WCS cites much lower figures since it only counts patrons with tickets. In 2007, it recorded that 1.01 million people visited the Central Park Zoo,[6] and in 2006, 1.03 million people.[7] As of the Wildlife Conservation Society's 2016 census of its zoos, the Central Park Zoo had 1,487 animals representing 163 species.[8]
Main zooTrellised, vine-clad, glass-roofed pergolas link the three major exhibit areas—tropic, temperate and polar—housed in discrete buildings of brick trimmed with granite, masked by vines.[9][10]: 213  The exhibit areas are centered around a square central garden that contains a square sea lion pool in its center.[4] The sea lion pool is surrounded by glass fencing to allow visitors to observe the sea lions and their daily feedings.[11]
Exhibits and other buildingsThe structure at the central garden's southwestern corner is the "Tropic Zone",[4] which contains a two-story representation of a rain forest. The rain forest contains Rodrigues flying foxes, Seba's short-tailed bats, emerald tree boas, pythons, cotton-top tamarins, white-eared titis, toucans, black-and-white ruffed lemurs from the Bronx Zoo and a large variety of birds including scarlet ibis, emerald starlings, superb starlings, pied avocets, speckled mousebirds, sunbittern, troupials, Taveta golden weaver, blue-crowned motmots, crested couas, blue-gray tanagers, African pygmy goose, ochre-marked parakeets, white-fronted amazons, blue-headed macaws, plum-headed parakeets, Derbyan parakeets, Fischer's lovebirds, golden conures, red bird-of-paradise, superb bird-of-paradise, Nicobar pigeons, black-naped fruit doves, Victoria crowned-pigeons, coroneted fruit doves, kagus, blue-and-yellow- and green winged macaws. The zoo also keeps piranhas, pig-nosed turtles and red-footed tortoises. There is also a large free-flight area for birds.[9][10]: 215  The elephant house of the original menagerie was formerly located at the site.[10]: 215 The Temperate Zone, one of the three major exhibit areas at Central Park ZooTo the west of the garden is the "Temperate Territory", a landscaped series of paths surrounding a lake.[4] It hosts animals such as red pandas, white-naped cranes, snow monkeys, and snow leopards.[9][10]: 215  A snow leopard exhibit in the Temperate Territory opened in June 2009.[12] The Temperate Territory is located on the site of the 1934 zoo's cafeteria.[10]: 215 
The northern side of the garden is adjacent to the "Penguins and Sea Birds" section.[4] This multilevel structure contains a chilled penguin house that contains macaroni penguins, king penguins, chinstrap penguins, gentoo penguins, tufted puffins and an outdoor pool with harbor seals, as well as an outdoor grizzly bear exhibit.[9][10]: 214–215  It is located on the site of a lion house that was built in 1934 along with the original menagerie.[10]: 214 
The Eastern side of the central garden is next to the Arsenal, technically located outside the zoo.[4] The structure was completed in 1851 and originally intended as a weapons and ammunition storehouse for the New York State Militia. It once served as an actual zoo building, but now contains NYC Parks Department offices.[13] Central Park Zoo also includes a 4D theater,[14][15] located to the north of the Arsenal,[4] while a gift shop and ticket booth are located to the south of the Arsenal.[4]
The southern side of the garden contains the Intelligence Garden,[4] located at the site of the original menagerie's horned animal/small mammal house. Its name is inspired by a rare-animal menagerie created by King Wen of Zhou in 1100 B.C.[10]: 216  A cafeteria, the Dancing Crane Cafe,[4] is located to the south of the Intelligence Garden.[10]: 216 
Art and conservation programsSeveral works of public art can be found in the Central Park Zoo. Five structures, preserved from the original zoo built in 1934,[b] still feature their original animal-themed limestone friezes sculpted by Frederick Roth.[11][16] The same artist created a pair of bronze statues for the original zoo, Dancing Goat and Dancing Bear, which now flank the zoo's southern entrance.[17][18] Tigress and Cubs, one of the park's oldest statues, was created by Auguste Cain in 1867 and installed on a rock outcrop near the Lake, but moved to the zoo in 1934.[19]
The zoo coordinates breeding programs for some endangered species as part of the Species Survival Plan, such as thick-billed parrots[20] and red pandas.[21][22] In 2011, the WCS announced that the Central Park Zoo was the first North American zoo to hatch ducklings of critically endangered scaly-sided mergansers.[23][24] In addition, the first example of whispering in non-human primates was observed at the Central Park Zoo in 2013, when tamarin monkeys were heard whispering around a staff member that they disliked.[25][26][27]
The zoo hosts educational venues as well as exhibits. The volunteer program at the Central Park Zoo engages members of the community; it is a combination outreach and educational program for adults. Volunteer guides conduct tours for visitors, while volunteer docents augment the educational program. Docents enroll in a four-month training program.[28] The zoo also offers several programs for students.[29]
Children's ZooThe Children's Zoo is located north of the main zoo.[4] It is officially named the Tisch Children's Zoo after businessman Laurence A. Tisch, whose donation funded the zoo's 1990s renovation.[30][31] The Children's Zoo contains a petting zoo with mini nubian goats (a crossbreed between Nigerian dwarf and Nubian goats), sheep, pigs, alpacas, Patagonian cavies, and the only cow in Manhattan, as well as the Acorn Theatre, a performing arts theater.[11][32] Admission to the Children's Zoo is included with the purchase of tickets to the main zoo.[32]Lehman GatesThe Lehman Gates by Paul Manship are a notable feature retained from the original Children's Zoo.[33][34] They were donated by Herbert and Edith Lehman in 1960 in honor of their 50th anniversary, and as part of their donation toward the construction of the Children's Zoo itself.[34] The gates were renovated in the 1980s.[34][10]: 163  Additionally, the Delacorte Clock, a gift of George T. Delacorte dedicated in 1965, is mounted on a three-tiered tower above the arcade between the Wildlife Center and the Children's Zoo.[35]
HistoryOriginal menagerieThe zoo was not part of the original Greensward Plan for Central Park created by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.[36][37]: 340  However, a menagerie near the Arsenal, on the edge of Central Park located at Fifth Avenue facing East 64th Street, spontaneously evolved from gifts of exotic pets and other animals informally given to the park.[36][37]: 343 [38] The first animal, a bear cub tied to a tree, was left in Central Park in 1859, followed by a monkey the next year. These animals were popular with the park's visitors even though there was no formal zoo at the time.[39] Soon, people began donating other animals such as cranes, a peaco*ck, and goldfish.[38] Unsolicited donations came from a variety of people, from prominent figures to young boys.[40] The donations also included dead animals.[41]: 50–54 (PDF pp. 54–58)  The Central Park planning commission recorded all of these donations in its annual reports.[38]1869, The DovecoteThe American Zoological and Botanical Society, which sought to create a zoo somewhere in New York City, was created in early 1860.[42] The group began discussing possible sites for a zoo, among them Central Park.[43] By 1862, 60 acres (24 ha) were set aside for the construction of a future "zoological and botanical garden", later the Central Park Zoo.[44]: 15 (PDF p. 17)  However, since the zoo's site was not yet formally designated, the animals were kept in the Central Park Mall.[38][45] Popular animals included three bald eagles and a bald-headed monkey.[46] In 1864, a formal zoo received charter confirmation from New York's assembly, making it the United States' second publicly owned zoo, after the Philadelphia Zoo, which was founded in 1859.[37]: 340–349 [47] By then, the park had over 400 animals.[38] More than 250 animals would be donated in 1864–1865 alone.[36][37]: 343 
Originally the zoo was supposed to be located in Manhattan Square, on the west side of Central Park where the American Museum of Natural History is now located, though this location was never used as a zoo.[37]: 200  Up to twelve sites would eventually be considered for the zoo throughout the last three decades of the 19th century, including the North Meadow of Central Park.[37]: 344  Some animals were moved to the Arsenal in 1865, and larger animals grazed there during summers. A "deer park" was established at the current site of the Metropolitan Museum of Art three years later.[36] In 1870, when the Tammany Hall political organization took control of the Central Park commission, it mandated that the Central Park menagerie buy its own animals rather than accept donations, and it moved the animals to five structures behind the Arsenal.[37]: 344  The same year, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins sculpted dinosaur figures for a proposed dinosaur exhibit at the zoo, but they were destroyed by Tammany Hall officials who did not appreciate these figures, and the pieces were rumored to be buried nearby.[48]
The menagerie became popular because of its free admission and proximity to working-class Lower Manhattan; by 1873, it saw 2.5 million annual visitors.[37]: 344  The first permanent menagerie building was constructed behind the Arsenal in 1875.[49] The menagerie reached peak popularity in the mid-1880s after a chimpanzee nicknamed "Mike Crowley" was imported from Liberia. Observers such as former president Ulysses S. Grant showed up at the Monkey House to see the chimpanzee, overfilling the building past capacity.[37]: 345–346  However, Irish-American groups took offense to the chimpanzee's nickname, saying that the names given to animals in the Central Park menagerie were stereotypically Irish, and thus derogatory to that ethnic group.[37]: 345–346 [50] Frederick Law Olmsted also disapproved of the menagerie, believing Central Park to be better suited for scenic vistas than for entertainment, though he admitted that the zoo was the most popular part of the park.[37]: 347 
By the 1890s, wealthy residents of nearby neighborhoods were clamoring for the zoo to be relocated somewhere else, such as the North Meadow. However, these efforts met resistance, as the Central Park menagerie was popular among the general public and among the politicians that represented them.[37]: 348  This subsequently led to the creation of the Bronx Zoo, a much larger, privately operated zoo in the Bronx in 1897.[51] Though wealthy residents hoped that people would travel to the Bronx Zoo for its superior facilities, the Central Park Zoo continued to be popular even after the Bronx Zoo opened in 1899.[37]: 349, 388  The Central Park menagerie attracted over three million people annually by 1902, more than the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum combined, despite only receiving one-fifth as much money as either of the museums.[37]: 389 
Through the early 20th century, the quality of the menagerie declined through neglect from the city government, which administered the zoo. The zoo accepted creatures of all kinds, even those with health problems, but offered insufficient veterinary care.[10]: 211 
In 1919, some of the structures at the Central Park menagerie were modified to accommodate the addition of new animals.[52] Subsequently, in 1932, a new concrete structure was built for the zoo's wolves because the previous steel enclosure was deemed insufficient to contain the wolves.[53] By then, the zoo was extremely rundown, and its 22 cages were regarded as "flimsy and rat-ridden".[10]: 105  The wooden sheds posed a fire hazard, and the enclosures were so ineffective that zookeepers guarded the lion house to prevent the lions from escaping.[54]
New zoo
Sea lion pool, as seen looking south toward Midtown ManhattanAfter assuming office in January 1934, New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia hired Robert Moses to head a newly unified Parks Department. Moses soon prepared extensive plans to reconstruct the city's parks, renovate existing facilities and create new swimming pools, zoos, playgrounds and parks. Moses acquired substantial Civil Works Administration, and later, Works Progress Administration funding and soon embarked upon an eight-year citywide construction program, relieving some of the high unemployment in New York City in this Depression year.[55]
Plans for the new Central Park Zoo were prepared by Aymar Embury II within a 16-day span in February 1934[56] and were announced the following month. Embury's plans called for nine terracotta and brick structures to replace the structures in the menagerie.[57] These structures included seven new animal enclosures, as well as a comfort station and a garage.[57][c] A sea lion pool, designed by Charles Schmieder,[48] was to be located in the center of the new zoo, surrounded by the zoo enclosures on three sides.[10]: 211–212  The new structures were designed in such a way that they could be maintained easily.[58] The buildings, to cost $411,000, were designed in conjunction with new enclosures at the Prospect Park Zoo.[57]
The reconstruction of the zoo was initially criticized by individuals who thought that the money spent on building a zoo would be better utilized on the construction of new schools around the city.[59] During the reconstruction, the previous structures were entirely demolished.[54] While construction was ongoing, animals were temporarily moved to other zoos.[60] The rebuilt zoo opened on December 2, 1934,[61] at a ceremony where former governor Al Smith was given the honorary title of "night superintendent".[62][63] By April 1936, the renovated zoo had seen six million visitors since its reopening.[64] To prevent the recurrence of rat infestations, Moses also instituted a rat-elimination program in and around the zoo.[10]: 109 
In June 1960, U.S. Senator Herbert Lehman and his wife Edith donated $500,000 toward the construction of a new children's zoo just north of the existing zoo.[65] Work began that November,[66] and the children's zoo was officially opened on June 27, 1961.[67] The children's zoo featured attractions like a petting area with ducks, rabbits, and chickens; a large fiberglass whale statue dubbed "Whaley" (which acted as the entrance to the small zoo); a Noah's Ark feature; and a medieval castle feature.[68] The animals were housed in small storybook-style structures bordering an irregular pond.[10]: 186–187 
DeclineBy 1967, the wooden railings around the main zoo's enclosures were rotting, and NYC Parks commissioner August Heckscher II had authorized repairs to these railings.[69] The same year, the zoo cafeteria was renovated after a new concessionaire took control of the cafe.[70]
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the New York City Subway's 63rd Street lines, the present-day F, <F>​​, and Q trains, were being built directly underneath the zoo.[71] A graffiti wall was erected along the line's length through Central Park. The tunnel provided a subterranean gathering place for very early subway artists who hung around together in Central Park, and was named Zoo York by ALI, founder of the SOUL ARTISTS graffiti crew. The name came about because it was in a zoo in New York, hence "Zoo York".[72] The construction of the subway line itself was controversial because it called for 1,500 feet (460 m) of cut-and-cover tunneling, which required digging an open trench through Central Park and then covering it over.[71] One of the concerns was that the Central Park Zoo, and a bird sanctuary outside the zoo, were located very close to the boundary of the trench.[73] Eventually, the New York City Transit Authority, which operated the New York City Subway, agreed to reduce disruption by halving the length of the cut.[74]
A nature kiosk at Central Park Zoo was added in 1972,[75] and a $500,000 renovation for the Lion House was proposed the following year.[58] By then, the Central Park Zoo was quite dilapidated: in November 1974, protesters gathered outside the zoo to protest the conditions there.[76] NYC Parks commissioner Gordon Davis described the zoo as a "Rikers Island for animals".[77] Even so, the zoo was one of the most popular attractions in Central Park through the 1980s, according to surveys taken during that era.[10]: 123 
Around the same time, there was a plan to shift control of the Central Park, Prospect Park, and Queens Zoos from the city government to the New York Zoological Society, a quasi-public conservation organization. At the time, none of the zoos had dedicated curatorial staff and all had only a skeletal zookeeping staff.[78] The society proposed sending the larger animals to different zoos with more humane conditions,[76] and animal-rights groups sued the city in an effort to close the two zoos and move the animals to the larger Bronx Zoo.[79] A 1976 report by the World Federation for the Protection of Animals found that all three zoos were operating in "shameful conditions", and that the animals at the Central Park and Prospect Park Zoos were living in poorly maintained ZooAfter fifteen years of sporadic conversations, the administration of mayor Ed Koch and the New York Zoological Society (renamed the Wildlife Conservation Society, or WCS, in 1993[81]) signed a fifty-year agreement in April 1980, wherein the Central Park, Prospect Park, and Queens Zoos would be administered by the Society.[82] They proposed renovation plans for all three zoos in 1981.[83][84] The Central Park Zoo's renovation plan called for the demolition of five of the six structures around the sea lion pool (except for the Arsenal), as well as new classrooms and auditoriums for students, and a snack bar to replace the zoo's concessions.[85][84] The New York Times reported that "the caging of these animals in inadequate spaces has long enraged animal lovers."[84] Starting in November 1982, the Central Park Zoo's animals were temporarily moved to other zoos while construction was ongoing. Most of the large animals were permanently rehoused in larger, more natural spaces at the Bronx Zoo.[86] The zoo had three "problem animals" that few other zoos wanted to take,[87] but even they found homes.[10]: 212–213 
The main zoo was closed in late 1983,[88][89] though the children's zoo remained open.[90] Demolition continued through 1984, though construction on the new zoo did not begin until the following year.[48] The subsequent redesign was executed by Kevin Roche of Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo Associates. The facility's menagerie cages were replaced with three naturalistic habitats that blended with Central Park's scenery.[85][91] Four of the original buildings were preserved in the redesigned zoo, though the cramped outdoor cages were demolished. The central feature of the original zoo, the sea lion pool, was retained.[90][9]
The renovation was originally budgeted at $8.3 million.[77] The renovated zoo was then planned to reopen in 1985 at a cost of $14 million, but the project was delayed for three years. The zoo reopened to the public on August 8, 1988. The renovation ended up costing $35 million.[92][93] Of this, the city contributed $22 million while the Society contributed the balance.[77] In order to pay for the zoo construction, the Society started charging admission for zoo patrons for the first time in the zoo's history.[37]: 509  With the reopening of the Central Park Zoo, the Society aimed to designate each of its three small zoos with a specific purpose. The Central Park Zoo would be focused toward conservation; the Prospect Park Zoo would be primarily a children's zoo; and the Queens Zoo would become a zoo with North American animals.[94]
By the early 1990s, some of the structures at the Children's Zoo had collapsed, and there were reports that the animals were being neglected. Under threat of closure by federal regulators, the city closed the zoo in 1991. Though the WCS had a plan to renovate the zoo, it languished for years because the restoration needed approval from the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), which had designated several zoo buildings as landmarks.[95] Furthermore, there were disputes over what the theme of the renovated Children's Zoo should be.[68] The $6 million plan to renovate the Children's Zoo was approved by the LPC in 1996, though it was opposed by preservationists who wanted to prevent the zoo's structures from demolition.[96] The renovation was initially supposed to be funded by $3 million from Henry and Edith Everett, but the Everetts withdrew their gift due to disputes over how the money should be spent.[30] With the help of a $4.5 million grant from businessman Laurence A. Tisch,[31] the Children's Zoo was renovated and renamed the Tisch Children's Zoo upon its reopening in September 1997.[97]
In June 2009, the Allison Maher Stern Snow Leopard Exhibit opened with three snow leopards, moved from the Bronx Zoo. The exhibit, costing $10.6 million, was the first new feature in the zoo since its 1988 renovation.[12]
Hoax1874 Herald hoax headlineHeadline for New York Herald storyA famous hoax regarding the zoo is known as the Central Park Zoo escape and the Central Park menagerie scare of 1874.[98][99]:  534  It was a hoax perpetrated by James Gordon Bennett Jr. in his newspaper, the New York Herald. J.I.C. Clarke was the primary writer of the hoax, under the direction and inspiration of the Herald's managing editor, T.B. Connery, who often walked through the zoo, and had witnessed the near-escape of a leopard.[99] The Herald's cover story of November 9, 1874, claimed that there had been a mass escape of animals from the Central Park Zoo and that several people had been killed by the free-roaming beasts. A rhinoceros was said to be the first escapee, goring his keeper to death and setting into motion the escape of other animals, including a polar bear, a panther, a Numidian lion, several hyenas, and a Bengal tiger.[100]
At the end of the lengthy article, which was divided across several pages of the newspaper, the following notice was the only indication that the story horrifying readers across the city was a hoax: "... of course, the entire story given above is a pure fabrication. Not one word of it is true."[101][102] That was not enough to assuage critics, however, who accused Bennett of inciting panic when the extent of the hoax became widely known.[103] The authors later claimed their intent was merely to draw attention to inadequate safety precautions at the zoo, and claimed to be surprised at the extent of the reaction to their story.[99][104][105]
Notable animalsIn the early 20th century, Bill Snyder was hired at the zoo; he purchased Hattie, an Asian elephant, in 1920.[106] Hattie died in 1922.[107]Pattycake, a female western lowland gorilla, was born at the zoo in 1972 and was thus the first gorilla successfully born in captivity in New York.[108] Her handlers assumed she was a male and originally named her "Sonny Jim".[109] She moved to the Bronx Zoo in 1982,[110] where she remained until her death in 2013.[111]Gus, a male polar bear, lived at the zoo from 1988 to 2013, when he had to be euthanized after being diagnosed with an inoperable tumor.[112]ReferencesNotesThe others are the Bronx Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and New York Aquarium.[2]The structures that still exist, or have been modified from the original zoo, Animal HouseLarger-Hoofed Animal HouseGarage, animal kitchen, and annexesMonkey HouseThe structures, clockwise from south, Animal HouseLarger-Hoofed Animal HouseHorned Animal/Small Mammal HouseGarage, animal kitchen, and annexesElephant HouseCafeteriaLion HouseMonkey House
Central Park is an urban park between the Upper West Side and Upper East Side neighborhoods of Manhattan in New York City, United States. It is the fifth-largest park in the city, containing 843 acres (341 ha), and the most visited urban park in the United States, with an estimated 42 million visitors annually as of 2016.
The creation of a large park in Manhattan was first proposed in the 1840s, and a 778-acre (315 ha) park approved in 1853. In 1857, landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition for the park with their "Greensward Plan". Construction began the same year; existing structures, including a majority-Black settlement named Seneca Village, were seized through eminent domain and razed. The park's first areas were opened to the public in late 1858. Additional land at the northern end of Central Park was purchased in 1859, and the park was completed in 1876. After a period of decline in the early 20th century, New York City parks commissioner Robert Moses started a program to clean up Central Park in the 1930s. The Central Park Conservancy, created in 1980 to combat further deterioration in the late 20th century, refurbished many parts of the park starting in the 1980s.
Main attractions include landscapes such as the Ramble and Lake, Hallett Nature Sanctuary, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, and Sheep Meadow; amusem*nt attractions such as Wollman Rink, Central Park Carousel, and the Central Park Zoo; formal spaces such as the Central Park Mall and Bethesda Terrace; and the Delacorte Theater. The biologically diverse ecosystem has several hundred species of flora and fauna. Recreational activities include carriage-horse and bicycle tours, bicycling, sports facilities, and concerts and events such as Shakespeare in the Park. Central Park is traversed by a system of roads and walkways and is served by public transportation.
Its size and cultural position make it a model for the world's urban parks. Its influence earned Central Park the designations of National Historic Landmark in 1963 and of New York City scenic landmark in 1974. Central Park is owned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation but has been managed by the Central Park Conservancy since 1998, under a contract with the municipal government in a public–private partnership. The Conservancy, a non-profit organization, raises Central Park's annual operating budget and is responsible for all basic care of the park.
DescriptionMapWikimedia | © OpenStreetMapNotable buildings and structures of Central Park. Click on the map and then on the points for details.This map: viewtalkeditCentral Park is bordered by Central Park North at 110th Street; Central Park South at 59th Street; Central Park West at Eighth Avenue; and Fifth Avenue on the east. The park is adjacent to the neighborhoods of Harlem to the north, Midtown Manhattan to the south, the Upper West Side to the west, and the Upper East Side to the east. It measures 2.5 miles (4.0 km) from north to south and 0.5 miles (0.80 km) from west to east.[3]
Design and layoutCentral Park is split into three sections: the "North End" extending above the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir; "Mid-Park", between the reservoir to the north and the Lake and Conservatory Water to the south; and "South End" below the Lake and Conservatory Water.[4] The park has five visitor centers: Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, Belvedere Castle, Chess & Checkers House, the Dairy, and Columbus Circle.[5][6]
The park has natural-looking plantings and landforms, having been almost entirely landscaped when built in the 1850s and 1860s.[7][8] It has eight lakes and ponds that were created artificially by damming natural seeps and flows.[9] There are several wooded sections, lawns, meadows, and minor grassy areas. There are 21 children's playgrounds,[10] and 6.1 miles (9.8 km) of drives.[3][11]
Central Park is the fifth-largest park in New York City, behind Pelham Bay Park, the Staten Island Greenbelt, Van Cortlandt Park, and Flushing Meadows–Corona Park,[12] with an area of 843 acres (341 ha; 1.317 sq mi; 3.41 km2).[13][14] Central Park constitutes its own United States census tract, numbered 143. According to American Community Survey five-year estimates, the park was home to four females with a median age of 19.8.[15] Though the 2010 United States Census recorded 25 residents within the census tract, park officials have rejected the claim of anyone permanently living there.[16]
VisitorsCentral Park is the most visited urban park in the United States[17] and one of the most visited tourist attractions worldwide,[18] with 42 million visitors in 2016.[19] The number of unique visitors is much lower; a Central Park Conservancy report conducted in 2011 found that between eight and nine million people visited Central Park, with 37 to 38 million visits between them.[20] By comparison, there were 25 million visitors in 2009,[21] and 12.3 million in 1973.[22]
The number of tourists as a proportion of total visitors is much lower: in 2009, one-fifth of the 25 million park visitors recorded that year were estimated to be tourists.[21] The 2011 Conservancy report gave a similar ratio of park usage: only 14% of visits are by people visiting Central Park for the first time. According to the report, nearly two-thirds of visitors are regular park users who enter the park at least once weekly, and about 70% of visitors live in New York City. Moreover, peak visitation occurred during summer weekends, and most visitors used the park for passive recreational activities such as walking or sightseeing, rather than for active sport.[20]Panoramic view of Central Park from Rockefeller Center
Central Park in 2004GovernanceThe park is managed and maintained by the Central Park Conservancy, a private, not-for-profit organization, under contract with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks).[13] The president of the Conservancy is the ex officio administrator of Central Park who effectively oversees the work of both the park's private and public employees under the authority of the publicly appointed Central Park Administrator, who reports to both the parks commissioner and the Conservancy's president.[13] The Central Park Conservancy was founded in 1980 as a nonprofit organization with a citizen board to assist with the city's initiatives to clean up and rehabilitate the park.[23][24]
The Conservancy took over the park's management duties from NYC Parks in 1998, though NYC Parks retained ownership of Central Park.[25] The Conservancy provides maintenance support and staff training programs for other public parks in New York City, and has assisted with the development of new parks such as the High Line and Brooklyn Bridge Park.[26]
Central Park is patrolled by its own New York City Police Department precinct, the 22nd (Central Park) Precinct,[a] at the 86th Street transverse. The precinct employs both regular police and auxiliary officers.[28] The 22nd Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 81.2% between 1990 and 2019. The precinct saw one murder, one rape, 21 robberies, seven felony assaults, one burglary, 37 grand larcenies, and one grand larceny auto in 2019.[29] The citywide New York City Parks Enforcement Patrol patrols Central Park, and the Central Park Conservancy sometimes hires seasonal Parks Enforcement Patrol officers to protect certain features such as the Conservatory Garden.[30]
A free volunteer medical emergency service, the Central Park Medical Unit, operates within Central Park. The unit operates a rapid-response patrol with bicycles, ambulances, and an all-terrain vehicle. Before the unit was established in 1975, the New York City Fire Department Bureau of EMS often took over 30 minutes to respond to incidents in the park.[31]
HistoryRandel's surveying bolt driven into rockRandel's surveying boltPlanningBetween 1821 and 1855, New York City's population nearly quadrupled. As the city expanded northward up Manhattan, people were drawn to the few existing open spaces, mainly cemeteries, for passive recreation. These were seen as escapes from the noise and chaotic life in the city, which at the time was almost entirely centered on Lower Manhattan.[32] The Commissioners' Plan of 1811, the outline for Manhattan's modern street grid, included several smaller open spaces but not Central Park.[33] As such, John Randel Jr. had surveyed the grounds for the construction of intersections within the modern-day park site. The only remaining surveying bolt from his survey is embedded in a rock north of the present Dairy and the 66th Street transverse, marking the location where West 65th Street would have intersected Sixth Avenue.[34][35]
SiteEgbert Viele's survey of Central ParkMap of the former Seneca Village from Viele's survey for Central ParkBy the 1840s, members of the city's elite were publicly calling for the construction of a new large park in Manhattan.[32][36] At the time, Manhattan's seventeen squares comprised a combined 165 acres (67 ha) of land, the largest of which was the 10-acre (4 ha) Battery Park at Manhattan island's southern tip.[37] These plans were endorsed in 1844 by New York Evening Post editor William Cullen Bryant, and in 1851 by Andrew Jackson Downing, one of the first American landscape designers.[36][38][39]
Mayor Ambrose Kingsland, in a message to the New York City Common Council on May 5, 1851, set forth the necessity and benefits of a large new park and proposed the council move to create such a park. Kingsland's proposal was referred to the council's Committee of Lands, which endorsed the proposal. The committee chose Jones's Wood, a 160-acre (65 ha) tract of land between 66th and 75th streets on the Upper East Side, as the park's site, as Bryant had advocated for Jones Wood. The acquisition was controversial because of its location, small size relative to other potential uptown tracts, and cost.[40][41][42] A bill to acquire Jones's Wood was invalidated as unconstitutional,[43][44] so attention turned to a second site: a 750-acre (300 ha) area known as "Central Park", bounded by 59th and 106th streets between Fifth and Eighth avenues.[43][45] Croton Aqueduct Board president Nicholas Dean, who proposed the Central Park site, chose it because the Croton Aqueduct's 35-acre (14 ha), 150-million-US-gallon (570×106 L) collecting reservoir would be in the geographical center.[43][45] In July 1853, the New York State Legislature passed the Central Park Act, authorizing the purchase of the present-day site of Central Park.[46][47]
The board of land commissioners conducted property assessments on more than 34,000 lots in the area,[48] completing them by July 1855.[49] While the assessments were ongoing, proposals to downsize the plans were vetoed by mayor Fernando Wood.[49][50][51] At the time, the site was occupied by free black people and Irish immigrants who had developed a property-owning community there since 1825.[52][53] Most of the Central Park site's residents lived in small villages, such as Pigtown;[54][55] Seneca Village;[56] or in the school and convent at Mount St. Vincent's Academy.[57] Clearing began shortly after the land commission's report was released in October 1855,[48][58] and approximately 1,600 residents were evicted under eminent domain.[56][59][60] Though supporters claimed that the park would cost just $1.7 million,[61] the total cost of the land ended up being $7.39 million (equivalent to $232 million in 2022), more than the price that the United States would pay for Alaska a few years later.[62][63][64]
Design contestIn June 1856, Fernando Wood appointed a "consulting board" of seven people, headed by author Washington Irving, to inspire public confidence in the proposed development.[65][66] Wood hired military engineer Egbert Ludovicus Viele as the park's chief engineer, tasking him with a topographical survey of the site.[67][68][69] The following April, the state legislature passed a bill to authorize the appointment of four Democratic and seven Republican commissioners,[65][70] who had exclusive control over the planning and construction process.[71][72][73] Though Viele had already devised a plan for the park,[74] the commissioners disregarded it and retained him to complete only the topographical surveys.[75][76] The Central Park Commission began hosting a landscape design contest shortly after its creation.[76][77][78] The commission specified that each entry contain extremely detailed specifications, as mandated by the consulting board.[78][79][80] Thirty-three firms or organizations submitted plans.[78][79]
In April 1858, the park commissioners selected Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux's "Greensward Plan" as the winning design.[81][82][83] Three other plans were designated as runners-up and featured in a city exhibit.[82][84] Unlike many of the other designs, which effectively integrated Central Park with the surrounding city, Olmsted and Vaux's proposal introduced clear separations with sunken transverse roadways.[85][86] The plan eschewed symmetry, instead opting for a more picturesque design.[85][87] It was influenced by the pastoral ideals of landscaped cemeteries such as Mount Auburn in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Green-Wood in Brooklyn.[86][88] The design was also inspired by Olmsted's 1850 visit to Birkenhead Park in Birkenhead, England,[89] which is generally acknowledged as the first publicly funded civil park in the world.[90][91][92] According to Olmsted, the park was "of great importance as the first real Park made in this country—a democratic development of the highest significance".[87][93]
Greensward's PlanModified Greensward Plan, 1868ConstructionConstruction of Central Park's design was executed by a gamut of professionals. Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux were the primary designers, assisted by board member Andrew Haswell Green, architect Jacob Wrey Mould, master gardener Ignaz Anton Pilat, and engineer George E. Waring Jr.[94][95] Olmsted was responsible for the overall plan, while Vaux designed some of the finer details. Mould, who worked frequently with Vaux, designed the Central Park Esplanade and the Tavern on the Green building.[96] Pilat was the park's chief landscape architect, whose primary responsibility was the importation and placement of plants within the park.[96][97] A "corps" of construction engineers and foremen, managed by superintending engineer William H. Grant, were tasked with the measuring and constructing architectural features such as paths, roads, and buildings.[98][99] Waring was one of the engineers working under Grant's leadership and was in charge of land drainage.[100][101]
Central Park was difficult to construct because of the generally rocky and swampy landscape.[7] Around five million cubic feet (140,000 m3) of soil and rocks had to be transported out of the park, and more gunpowder was used to clear the area than was used at the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.[8] More than 18,500 cubic yards (14,100 m3) of topsoil were transported from Long Island and New Jersey, because the original soil was neither fertile nor sufficiently substantial to sustain the flora specified in the Greensward Plan.[7][8] Modern steam-powered equipment and custom tree-moving machines augmented the work of unskilled laborers.[8] In total, over 20,000 individuals helped construct Central Park.[8] Because of extreme precautions taken to minimize collateral damage, five laborers died during the project, at a time when fatality rates were generally much higher.[102]
During the development of Central Park, Superintendent Olmsted hired several dozen mounted police officers, who were classified into two types of "keepers": park keepers and gate keepers.[7][103][104] The mounted police were viewed favorably by park patrons and were later incorporated into a permanent patrol.[7] The regulations were sometimes strict.[104] For instance, prohibited actions included games of chance, speech-making, large congregations such as picnics, or picking flowers or other parts of plants.[104][105][106] These ordinances were effective: by 1866, there had been nearly eight million visits and only 110 arrests in the park's history.[107]
Late 1850sThe Lake in Central Part with a high-rise building in the backgroundThe Lake, one of the first features of Central Park to be completedIn late August 1857, workers began building fences, clearing vegetation, draining the land, and leveling uneven terrain.[108][109] By the following month, chief engineer Viele reported that the project employed nearly 700 workers.[109] Olmsted employed workers using day labor, hiring men directly without any contracts and paying them by the day.[98] Many of the laborers were Irish immigrants or first-or-second generation Irish Americans, and some Germans and Italians;[110] there were no black or female laborers.[111][112] The workers were often underpaid,[112][113] and workers would often take jobs at other construction projects to supplement their income.[114] A pattern of seasonal hiring was established, wherein more workers would be hired and paid at higher rates during the summers.[112]
For several months, the park commissioners faced funding issues,[72][115] and a dedicated workforce and funding stream was not secured until June 1858.[72] The landscaped Upper Reservoir was the only part of the park that the commissioners were not responsible for constructing; instead, the Reservoir would be built by the Croton Aqueduct board. Work on the Reservoir started in April 1858.[116] The first major work in Central Park involved grading the driveways and draining the land in the park's southern section.[117][118] The Lake in Central Park's southwestern section was the first feature to open to the public, in December 1858,[119] followed by the Ramble in June 1859.[102][120] The same year, the New York State Legislature authorized the purchase of an additional 65 acres (26 ha) at the northern end of Central Park, from 106th to 110th Streets.[119][121] The section of Central Park south of 79th Street was mostly completed by 1860.[122]
The park commissioners reported in June 1860 that $4 million had been spent on the construction to date.[123] As a result of the sharply rising construction costs, the commissioners eliminated or downsized several features in the Greensward Plan.[124] Based on claims of cost mismanagement, the New York State Senate commissioned the Swiss engineer Julius Kellersberger to write a report on the park.[125] Kellersberger's report, submitted in 1861, stated that the commission's management of the park was a "triumphant success".[126][127]
Map showing improvements to the park in 1858Map of improvements underway by 18581860sBethesda Terrace under constructionBethesda Terrace and Fountain under construction in 1862Olmsted often clashed with the park commissioners, notably with Chief Commissioner Green.[124][128] Olmsted resigned in June 1862, and Green was appointed to Olmsted's position.[129][130] Vaux resigned in 1863 because of what he saw as pressure from Green.[131] As superintendent of the park, Green accelerated construction, though having little experience in architecture.[129] He implemented a style of micromanagement, keeping records of the smallest transactions in an effort to reduce costs.[128][132] Green finalized the negotiations to purchase the northernmost 65 acres (26 ha) of the park which was later converted into a "rugged" woodland and the Harlem Meer waterway.[129][132]
When the American Civil War began in 1861, the park commissioners decided to continue building Central Park, since significant parts of the park had already been completed.[133] Only three major structures were completed during the Civil War: the Music Stand and the Casino restaurant, both later demolished, and the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain.[134] By late 1861, the park south of 72nd Street had been completed, except for various fences.[135] Work had begun on the northern section of the park but was complicated by a need to preserve the historic McGowan's Pass.[136] The Upper Reservoir was completed the following year.[137]
During this period Central Park began to gain popularity.[133] One of the main attractions was the "Carriage Parade", a daily display of horse-drawn carriages that traversed the park.[133][138][139] Park patronage grew steadily: by 1867, Central Park accommodated nearly three million pedestrians, 85,000 horses, and 1.38 million vehicles annually.[133] The park had activities for New Yorkers of all social classes. While the wealthy could ride horses on bridle paths or travel in horse-drawn carriages, almost everyone was able to participate in sports such as ice-skating or rowing, or listen to concerts at the Mall's bandstand.[140]
Olmsted and Vaux were re-hired in mid-1865.[141] Several structures were erected, including the Children's District, the Ballplayers House, and the Dairy in the southern part of Central Park. Construction commenced on Belvedere Castle, Harlem Meer, and structures on Conservatory Water and the Lake.[134][142]
1870–1876: completionPeople on horseback and riding in carriages in the parkGentry in the new park, c. 1870The Tammany Hall political machine, which was the largest political force in New York at the time, was in control of Central Park for a brief period beginning in April 1870.[143] A new charter created by Tammany boss William M. Tweed abolished the old 11-member commission and replaced it with one with five men composed of Green and four other Tammany-connected figures.[143][144] Subsequently, Olmsted and Vaux resigned again from the project in November 1870.[143] After Tweed's embezzlement was publicly revealed in 1871, leading to his imprisonment, Olmsted and Vaux were re-hired, and the Central Park Commission appointed new members who were mostly in favor of Olmsted.[145]
One of the areas that remained relatively untouched was the underdeveloped western side of Central Park, though some large structures would be erected in the park's remaining empty plots.[146] By 1872, Manhattan Square had been reserved for the American Museum of Natural History, founded three years before at the Arsenal. A corresponding area on the East Side, originally intended as a playground, would later become the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[146][147] In the final years of Central Park's construction, Vaux and Mould designed several structures for Central Park. The park's sheepfold (now Tavern on the Green) and Ladies' Meadow were designed by Mould in 1870–1871, followed by the administrative offices on the 86th Street transverse in 1872.[148] Even though Olmsted and Vaux's partnership was dissolved by the end of 1872,[149] the park was not officially completed until 1876.[150]
Late 19th and early 20th centuries: first declineBelvedere CastleBelvedere Castle, completed 1869The tree-lined mall with people walking and others seated on benches on either sideLower end of the mall, seen in 1901By the 1870s, the park's patrons increasingly came to include the middle and working class, and strict regulations were gradually eased, such as those against public gatherings.[151] Because of the heightened visitor count, neglect by the Tammany administration, and budget cuts demanded by taxpayers, the maintenance expenses for Central Park had reached a nadir by 1879.[105][152] Olmsted blamed politicians, real estate owners, and park workers for Central Park's decline, though high maintenance costs were also a factor.[153] By the 1890s, the park faced several challenges: cars were becoming commonplace, and with the proliferation of amusem*nts and refreshment stands, people were beginning to see the park as a recreational attraction.[154][155] The 1904 opening of the New York City Subway displaced Central Park as the city's predominant leisure destination, as New Yorkers could travel to farther destinations such as Coney Island beaches or Broadway theaters for a five-cent fare.[156]
In the late 19th century the landscape architect Samuel Parsons took the position of New York City parks superintendent. A onetime apprentice of Calvert Vaux,[157] Parsons helped restore the nurseries of Central Park in 1886.[158] Parsons closely followed Olmsted's original vision for the park, restoring Central Park's trees while blocking the placement of several large statues in the park.[159] Under Parsons' leadership, two circles (now Duke Ellington and Frederick Douglass Circles) were constructed at the northern corners of the park.[160][161] He was removed in May 1911 following a lengthy dispute over whether an expense to replace the soil in the park was unnecessary.[159][162] A succession of Tammany-affiliated Democratic mayors were indifferent toward Central Park.[163]
Several park advocacy groups were formed in the early 20th century. To preserve the park's character, the citywide Parks and Playground Association, and a consortium of multiple Central Park civic groups operating under the Parks Conservation Association, were formed in the 1900s and 1910s.[164] These associations advocated against such changes to the park as the construction of a library,[165] sports stadium,[166] a cultural center,[167] and an underground parking lot.[168] A third group, the Central Park Association, was created in 1926.[164] The Central Park Association and the Parks and Playgrounds Association were merged into the Park Association of New York City two years later.[169]
The Heckscher Playground—named after philanthropist August Heckscher, who donated the play equipment—opened near its southern end in 1926,[170][171] and quickly became popular with poor immigrant families.[171] The following year, Mayor Jimmy Walker commissioned landscape designer Hermann W. Merkel to create a plan to improve Central Park.[163] Merkel's plans would combat vandalism and plant destruction, rehabilitate paths, and add eight new playgrounds, at a cost of $1 million.[172][173] One of the suggested modifications, underground irrigation pipes, were installed soon after Merkel's report was submitted.[163][174] The other improvements outlined in the report, such as fences to mitigate plant destruction, were postponed due to the Great Depression.[175]
1930s to 1950s: Moses rehabilitationIn 1934, Republican Fiorello La Guardia was elected mayor of New York City. He unified the five park-related departments then in existence. Newly appointed city parks commissioner Robert Moses was given the task of cleaning up the park, and he summarily fired many of the Tammany-era staff.[176] At the time, the lawns were filled with weeds and dust patches, while many trees were dying or already dead. Monuments had been vandalized, equipment and walkways were broken, and ironwork was rusted.[176][177] Moses's biographer Robert Caro later said, "The once beautiful Mall looked like a scene of a wild party the morning after. Benches lay on their backs, their legs jabbing at the sky..."[177]
During the following year, the city's parks department replanted lawns and flowers, replaced dead trees and bushes, sandblasted walls, repaired roads and bridges, and restored statues.[178][179][180] The park menagerie and Arsenal was transformed into the modern Central Park Zoo, and a rat extermination program was instituted within the zoo.[179] Another dramatic change was Moses' removal of the "Hoover valley" shantytown at the north end of Turtle Pond, which became the 30-acre (12 ha) Great Lawn.[178][180] The western part of the Pond at the park's southeast corner became an ice skating rink called Wollman Rink,[179] roads were improved or widened,[181] and twenty-one playgrounds were added.[180] These projects used funds from the New Deal program, and donations from the public.[180] Moses removed Sheep Meadow's sheep to make way for the Tavern on the Green restaurant.[181][182]
Renovations in the 1940s and 1950s include a restoration of the Harlem Meer completed in 1943,[183] and a new boathouse completed in 1954.[184][185][186] Moses began construction on several other recreational features in Central Park, such as playgrounds and ball fields.[187] One of the more controversial projects proposed during this time was a 1956 dispute over a parking lot for Tavern in the Green. The controversy placed Moses, an urban planner known for displacing families for other large projects around the city, against a group of mothers who frequented a wooded hollow at the site of a parking lot.[187][188] Though opposed by the parents, Moses approved the destruction of part of the hollow. Demolition work commenced after Central Park was closed for the night and was only halted after the threat of a lawsuit.[187][189]
1960s and 1970s: "Events Era" and second declineMoses left his position in May 1960. No park commissioner since then has been able to exercise the same degree of power, nor did NYC Parks remain in as stable a position in the aftermath of his departure. Eight commissioners held the office in the twenty years following his departure.[190] The city experienced economic and social changes, with some residents moving to the suburbs.[191][192] Interest in Central Park's landscape had long since declined, and it was now mostly being used for recreation.[193] Several unrealized additions were proposed for Central Park in that decade, such as a public housing development,[194] a golf course,[195] and a "revolving world's fair".[196]
The 1960s marked the beginning of an "Events Era" in Central Park that reflected the widespread cultural and political trends of the period.[197] The Public Theater's annual Shakespeare in the Park festival was settled in the Delacorte Theater,[198] and summer performances were instituted on the Sheep Meadow and the Great Lawn by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera.[199] During the late 1960s, the park became the venue for rallies and cultural events such as the "love-ins" and "be-ins" of the period.[200] The same year, Lasker Rink opened in the northern part of the park; the facility served as an ice rink in winter and Central Park's only swimming pool in summer.[201]
By the mid-1970s, managerial neglect resulted in a decline in park conditions. A 1973 report noted that the park suffered from severe erosion and tree decay, and that individual structures were being vandalized or neglected.[202] The Central Park Community Fund was subsequently created based on the recommendation of a report from a Columbia University professor.[203] The Fund then commissioned a study of the park's management and suggested the appointment of both a NYC Parks administrator and a board of citizens.[204] In 1979, Parks Commissioner Gordon Davis established the Office of Central Park Administrator and appointed Elizabeth Barlow, the executive director of the Central Park Task Force, to the position.[205][206] The Central Park Conservancy, a nonprofit organization with a citizen board, was founded the following year.[23][24]
1970s to 2000s: restoration
The Great Lawn before renovations in the late 1970s
The Great Lawn after renovations in the 1980sUnder the leadership of the Central Park Conservancy, the park's reclamation began by addressing needs that could not be met within NYC Parks' existing resources. The Conservancy hired interns and a small restoration staff to reconstruct and repair unique rustic features, undertaking horticultural projects, and removing graffiti under the broken windows theory which advocated removing visible signs of decay.[207] The first structure to be renovated was the Dairy, which reopened as the park's first visitor center in 1979.[208] The Sheep Meadow, which reopened the following year, was the first landscape to be restored.[209] Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, the USS Maine National Monument, and the Bow Bridge were also rehabilitated.[210][211][212] By then, the Conservancy was engaged in design efforts and long-term restoration planning,[213] and in 1981, Davis and Barlow announced a 10-year, $100 million "Central Park Management and Restoration Plan".[212] The long-closed Belvedere Castle was renovated and reopened in 1983,[214][215] while the Central Park Zoo closed for a full reconstruction that year.[206][213] To reduce the maintenance effort, large gatherings such as free concerts were canceled.[216]
On completion of the planning stage in 1985, the Conservancy launched its first campaign[192] and mapped out a 15-year restoration plan.[217] Over the next several years, the campaign restored landmarks in the southern part of the park, such as Grand Army Plaza[218] and the police station at the 86th Street transverse;[219] while Conservatory Garden in the northEastern corner of the park was restored to a design by Lynden B. Miller.[220][221][222] Real estate developer Donald Trump renovated the Wollman Rink in 1987 after plans to renovate it were delayed repeatedly.[223] The following year, the Zoo reopened after a $35 million, four-year renovation.[224]
Work on the northern end of the park began in 1989.[225] A $51 million campaign, announced in 1993,[226] resulted in the restoration of bridle trails,[227] the Mall,[228] the Harlem Meer,[229] and the North Woods,[225] and the construction of the Dana Discovery Center on the Harlem Meer.[229] This was followed by the Conservancy's overhaul of the 55 acres (22 ha) near the Great Lawn and Turtle Pond, which was completed in 1997.[230] The Upper Reservoir was decommissioned as a part of the city's water supply system in 1993,[231][232] and was renamed after former U.S. first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis the next year.[231][233] During the mid-1990s, the Conservancy hired additional volunteers and implemented a zone-based system of management throughout the park.[192] The Conservancy assumed much of the park's operations in early 1998.[25]
Renovations continued through the first decade of the 21st century, and a project to restore the pond was commenced in 2000.[234] Four years later, the Conservancy replaced a chain-link fence with a replica of the original cast-iron fence that surrounded the Upper Reservoir.[235] It started refurbishing the ceiling tiles of the Bethesda Arcade,[236] which was completed in 2007.[237] Soon after, the Central Park Conservancy began restoring the Ramble and Lake,[238] in a project that was completed in 2012.[239] Bank Rock Bridge was restored,[240][241] and the Gill, which empties into the lake, was reconstructed to approximate its dramatic original form.[242] The final feature to be restored was the East Meadow, which was rehabilitated in 2011.[243]
2010s to presentIn 2014, the New York City Council proposed a study on the viability of banning vehicular traffic from the park's drives.[244] The next year, mayor Bill de Blasio announced that West and East drives north of 72nd Street would be closed to vehicular traffic, because the city's data showed that closing the roads did not adversely impact traffic flows.[245] Subsequently, in June 2018, the remaining drives south of 72nd Street were closed to vehicular traffic.[246][247]
Several structures were renovated. Belvedere Castle was closed in 2018 for an extensive renovation, reopening in June 2019.[248][249][250] Later in 2018, it was announced that the Delacorte Theater would be closed from 2020 to 2022 for a $110 million rebuild.[251] The Central Park Conservancy further announced that Lasker Rink would be closed for a $150 million renovation[252] between 2021 and 2024.[253][254][255]
In March 2020, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, temporary field hospitals were set up within the park to treat overflow patients from area hospitals.[256][257] By mid-2023, the New York City government was considering erecting tents in Central Park to temporarily house asylum seekers. This move came after the federal government repealed an order authorizing Title 42 expulsions of migrants, which had been implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.[258][259]
Landscape featuresGeologyEast side of Rat Rock with high rise buildings in the backgroundEast side of Rat RockThere are four different types of bedrock in Manhattan. In Central Park, Manhattan schist and Hartland schist, which are both metamorphosed sedimentary rock, are exposed in various outcroppings. The other two types, Fordham gneiss (an older deeper layer) and Inwood marble (metamorphosed limestone which overlays the gneiss), do not surface in the park.[260][261][262] Fordham gneiss, which consists of metamorphosed igneous rocks, was formed a billion years ago, during the Grenville orogeny that occurred during the creation of an ancient super-continent. Manhattan schist and Hartland schist were formed in the Iapetus Ocean during the Taconic orogeny in the Paleozoic era, about 450 million years ago, when the tectonic plates began to merge to form the supercontinent Pangaea.[263] Cameron's Line, a fault zone that traverses Central Park on an east–west axis, divides the outcroppings of Hartland schist to the south and Manhattan schist to the north.[264]
Various glaciers have covered the area of Central Park in the past, with the most recent being the Wisconsin glacier which receded about 12,000 years ago. Evidence of past glaciers can be seen throughout the park in the form of glacial erratics (large boulders dropped by the receding glacier) and north–south glacial striations visible on stone outcroppings.[260][265][266] Alignments of glacial erratics, called "boulder trains", are present throughout Central Park.[267] The most notable of these outcroppings is Rat Rock (also known as Umpire Rock), a circular outcropping at the southwestern corner of the park.[265][268] It measures 55 feet (17 m) wide and 15 feet (4.6 m) tall with different east, west, and north faces.[268][269] Boulderers sometimes congregate there.[269] A single glacial pothole with yellow clay is near the southwest corner of the park.[270][271]
The underground geology of Central Park was altered by the construction of several subway lines underneath it, and by the New York City Water Tunnel No. 3 approximately 700 feet (210 m) underground. Excavations for the project have uncovered pegmatite, feldspar, quartz, biotite, and several metals.[272]
Wooded areas and lawnsTrees and a pathway in the RambleWooded area of The Ramble and LakeThere are three wooded areas in Central Park: North Woods, the Ramble, and Hallett Nature Sanctuary.[273] North Woods, the largest of the woodlands, is at the northwestern corner of Central Park.[274][275][276] It covers about 90 acres (36 ha) adjacent to North Meadow.[277] The name sometimes applies to other attractions in the park's northern end; these adjacent features plus the area of North Woods can be 200 acres (81 ha).[225] North Woods contains the 55-acre (22 ha) Ravine, a forest with deciduous trees on its northwestern slope, and the Loch, a small stream that winds diagonally through North Woods.[276][278][279]
The Ramble is in the southern third of the park next to the Lake.[4][280][281] Covering 36 to 38 acres (15 to 15 ha), it contains a series of winding paths.[281] The area contains a diverse selection of vegetation and other flora, which attracts a plethora of birds.[280][281] At least 250 species of birds have been spotted in the Ramble over the years.[281][282] Historically, the Ramble was known as a place for private hom*osexual encounters due to its seclusion.[283]
The Hallett Nature Sanctuary is at the southEastern corner of Central Park.[4][284][285] It is the smallest wooded area at 4 acres (1.6 ha).[286] Originally known as the Promontory, it was renamed after civic activist and birder George Hervey Hallett Jr. in 1986.[285][286][287] The Hallett Sanctuary was closed to the public from 1934 to May 2016, when it was reopened allowing limited access.[288]
The Central Park Conservancy classifies its remaining green space into four types of lawns, labeled alphabetically based on usage and the amount of maintenance needed. There are seven high-priority "A Lawns", collectively covering 65 acres (26 ha), that are heavily used: Sheep Meadow, Great Lawn, North Meadow, East Meadow, Conservatory Garden, Heckscher Ballfields, and the Lawn Bowling and Croquet Greens near Sheep Meadow. These are permanently surrounded by fences, are constantly maintained, and are closed during the off-season. Another 16 lawns, covering 37 acres (15 ha), are classed as "B Lawns" and are fenced off only during off-seasons, while an additional 69 acres (28 ha) are "C Lawns" and are only occasionally fenced off. The lowest-prioritized type of turf, "D Lawns", cover 162 acres (66 ha) and are open year-round with few barriers or access Meer
The Loch
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in the park
Loeb Boathouse CafeCentral Park is home to numerous bodies of water.[9][85] The northernmost lake, Harlem Meer, is near the northEastern corner of the park and covers nearly 11 acres (4.5 ha).[290][291] Located in a wooded area of oak, cypress, and beech trees, it was named after Harlem, one of Manhattan's first suburban communities, and was built after the completion of the southern portion of the park. Harlem Meer allows catch and release fishing.[290] It is fed by two interconnected water features: the Pool, a pond within the North Woods fed by drinking water,[292] and the Loch, a small stream with three cascades that winds through the North Woods.[293][274] These are all adapted from a single watercourse called Montayne's Rivulet, originally fed from a natural spring but later replenished by the city's water system.[294][295] Lasker Rink is above the mouth of the Loch where it drains into the Harlem Meer.[296][297]
South of Harlem Meer and the Pool is Central Park's largest lake, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, known as the Central Park Reservoir before 1994.[298] It was constructed between 1858 and 1862. Covering an area of 106 acres (43 ha) between 86th and 96th streets, the reservoir reaches a depth of more than 40 feet (12 m) in places and contains about 1 billion U.S. gallons (3.8 billion liters) of water.[299][300] The Onassis Reservoir was created as a new, landscaped storage reservoir to the north of the Croton Aqueduct's rectangular receiving reservoir.[137] Because of the Onassis Reservoir's shape, East Drive was built as a straight path, with little clearance between the reservoir to the west and Fifth Avenue to the east.[301] It was decommissioned in 1993[231][232] and renamed after Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis the following year, after her death.[231][233]
The Turtle Pond, a man-made pond, is at the southern edge of the Great Lawn. The pond was originally part of the Croton receiving reservoir.[302][303] The receiving reservoir was drained starting in 1930,[304][305] and the dry reservoir bed was temporarily used as a homeless encampment when filling stopped during the Great Depression.[303][306][307] The Great Lawn was completed in 1937 on the site of the reservoir.[308] Until 1987, it was known as Belvedere Lake, after the castle at its southwestern corner.[302][303]
The Lake, south of the 79th Street transverse, covers nearly 18 acres (7.3 ha).[309] Originally, it was part of the Sawkill Creek, which flowed near the American Museum of Natural History.[310][311] The Lake was among the first features to be completed, opening to skaters in December 1858.[119] It was intended to accommodate boats in the summer and ice skaters in winter.[119][309] The Loeb Boathouse, on the Eastern shore of the Lake, rents out rowboats, kayaks, and gondolas, and houses a restaurant.[185][186][312] The Lake is spanned by Bow Bridge at its center,[312] and its northern inlet, Bank Rock Bay, is spanned by the Bank Rock or Oak Bridge.[313][311] Ladies' Pond, spanned by two bridges on the western end of the Lake, was infilled in the 1930s.[311]
Directly east of the Lake is Conservatory Water,[4] on the site of an unbuilt formal garden.[314] The shore of Conservatory Water contains the Kerbs Memorial Boathouse,[315] where patrons can rent and navigate model boats.[314][316][317]
In the park's southeast corner is the Pond, with an area of 3.5 acres (1.4 ha).[318][319] The Pond was adapted from part of the former DeVoor's Mill Stream, which used to flow into the East River at the modern-day neighborhood of Turtle Bay.[9][320] The western section of the Pond was converted into Wollman Rink in 1950.[179][321][322]
WildlifeCentral Park is biologically diverse. A 2013 survey of park species by William E. Macaulay Honors College found 571 total species,[323][324] including 173 species that were not previously known to live there.[325]
FloraAccording to a 2011 survey, Central Park had more than 20,000 trees,[326][327][328] representing a decrease from the 26,000 trees that were recorded in the park in 1993.[329] The majority of them are native to New York City, but there are several clusters of non-native species.[330] With few exceptions, the trees in Central Park were mostly planted or placed manually. Over four million trees, shrubs, and plants representing approximately 1,500 species were planted or imported to the park.[8] In Central Park's earliest years, two plant nurseries were maintained within the park boundaries: a demolished nursery near the Arsenal, and the still-extant Conservatory Garden.[331] Central Park Conservancy later took over regular maintenance of the park's flora, allocating gardeners to one of 49 "zones" for maintenance purposes.[332]
Central Park contains ten "great tree" clusters that are specially recognized by NYC Parks. These include four individual American elms and one American elm grove; the 600 pine trees in the Arthur Ross Pinetum; a black tupelo in the Ramble; 35 Yoshino cherries on the east side of the Onassis Reservoir; one of the park's oldest London plane trees at 96th Street; and an Euodia at Heckscher Playground.[330][333] The American elms in Central Park are the largest remaining stands in the NorthEastern United States, protected by their isolation from the Dutch elm disease that devastated the tree throughout its native range.[329] There are several "tree walks" that run through Central Park.[328]
FaunaFemale northern cardinal perched on a branch looking to its leftFemale northern cardinal, one of the bird species found in Central ParkCentral Park contains various migratory birds during their spring and fall migration on the Atlantic Flyway.[334] The first official list of birds observed in Central Park, which numbered 235 species, was published in Forest and Stream in 1886 by Augustus G. Paine Jr. and Lewis B. Woodruff.[335][336] Overall, 303 bird species have been seen in the park since the first official list of records was published,[334] and an estimated 200 species are spotted every season.[337] No single group is responsible for tracking Central Park's bird species.[338] Some of the more famous birds include a male red-tailed hawk called Pale Male, who made his perch on an apartment building overlooking Central Park in 1991.[339][340] A mandarin duck nicknamed Mandarin Patinkin received international media attention in late 2018 and early 2019[341] due to its colorful appearance and the species' presence outside its native range in East Asia.[342] Another bird, an Eurasian eagle-owl named Flaco, gained attention in 2023 when he escaped from the Central Park Zoo after his enclosure was vandalized.[343] More infamously, Eugene Schieffelin released 100 imported European starlings in Central Park in 1890–1891, which led to them becoming an invasive species across North America.[344][345]
Central Park has approximately ten species of mammals as of 2013.[324] Bats, a nocturnal order, have been found in dark crevices.[346] Because of the prevalence of raccoons, the Parks Department posts rabies advisories.[347] Eastern gray squirrels, Eastern chipmunks, and Virginia opossums inhabit the park.[348]
There are 223 invertebrate species in Central Park.[324] Nannarrup hoffmani, a centipede species discovered in Central Park in 2002, is one of the smallest centipedes in the world at about 0.4 inches (10 mm) long.[349] The more prevalent Asian long-horned beetle is an invasive species that has infected trees in Long Island and Manhattan, including in Central Park.[350][351]
Turtles, fish, and frogs live in Central Park.[324] There are five turtle species: red-eared sliders, snapping turtles, painted turtles, musk turtles, and box turtles.[302] Most of the turtles live in Turtle Pond, and many of these are former pets that were released into the park.[323] The fish are scattered more widely, but they include several freshwater species,[352] such as the snakehead, an invasive species.[353] Catch and release fishing is allowed in the Lake, Pond, and Harlem Meer.[352][354] Central Park is a habitat for two amphibian species: the American bullfrog and the green frog.[355] The park contained snakes in the late 19th century,[356] though Marie Winn, who wrote about wildlife in Central Park, said in a 2008 interview that the snakes had died off.[357]
Landmarks and structuresPlazas and entrancesThe USS Maine National MonumentThe USS Maine National Monument at Merchants' Gate in the parkCentral Park is surrounded by a 29,025-foot-long (8,847 m), 3-foot-10-inch-high (117 cm) stone wall. It initially contained 18 unnamed gates.[358] In April 1862, the Central Park commissioners adopted a proposal to name each gate with "the vocations to which this city owes its metropolitan character", such as miners, scholars, artists, or hunters.[358][359] The park grew to contain 20 named gates,[360][361] four of which are accessed from plazas at each corner of the park.[4][360]
Columbus Circle is a circular plaza at the southwestern corner, at the junction of Central Park West/Eighth Avenue, Broadway, and 59th Street (Central Park South).[4][362] Built in the 1860s,[362] it contains the Merchant's Gate entrance to the park.,[360] and its largest feature is the 1892 Columbus Monument[362][363] and was the subject of controversies in the 2010s.[364][365] The 1913 USS Maine National Monument is just outside the park entrance.[366]
The square Grand Army Plaza is on the southEastern corner, at the junction with Fifth Avenue and 59th Street.[4] Its largest feature is the Pulitzer Fountain, which was completed in 1916 along with the plaza itself.[367] The plaza contains the William Tec*mseh Sherman statue, dedicated in 1903.[368]
Duke Ellington Circle, at the northEastern corner, forms the junction between Fifth Avenue and Central Park North/110th Street.[4] It contains the Duke Ellington Memorial, dedicated in 1997.[369] Duke Ellington Circle is adjacent to the Pioneers' Gate.[360]
Frederick Douglass Circle is on the northwestern corner, at the junction with Central Park West/Eighth Avenue and Central Park North/110th Street.[4] It was named for Douglass in 1950.[370] The center of the circle contains a memorial to Frederick Douglass, dedicated in 2011.[371]
StructuresMain facade of the Metropolitan Museum of ArtMetropolitan Museum of ArtBethesda Terrace and Fountain with people walking on the Central Park MallBethesda Terrace and FountainA stone bridge above a lake, with autumn foliage on either sideGapstow Bridge in fallThe Dana Discovery Center was built in 1993 at the northeast section of the park, on the north shore of the Harlem Meer.[4][275][296] Blockhouse No. 1, the oldest extant structure within Central Park, and built before the park's creation, sits in the northwest section of the park. It was erected as part of Fort Clinton during the War of 1812.[275][372][296] The Blockhouse is near McGowan's Pass, rocky outcroppings that also once contained Fort Fish and Nutter's Battery.[373] The Lasker Rink, a skating rink and swimming pool facility, formerly occupied the southwest corner of the Harlem Meer.[374] The Conservatory Garden, the park's only formal garden, is entered through the Vanderbilt Gate at Fifth Avenue and 105th Street.[4][375] The North Meadow Recreation Center, tennis courts, and the East Meadow, sit between the Loch to the north and the reservoir to the south.[4][376] The North Woods takes up the rest of the northern third of the park. The areas in the northern section of the park were developed later than the southern section and are not as heavily used, so there are several unnamed features.[377] The park's northern portion was intended as the "natural section" in contrast to the landscaped "pastoral section" to the south.[85]
The area between the 86th and 96th Street transverses is mostly occupied by the Onassis Reservoir. Directly south of the Reservoir is the Great Lawn and Turtle Pond. The Lawn is bordered by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the east, Turtle Pond to the south, and Summit Rock to the west.[4] Summit Rock, the highest point in Central Park at 137.5 feet (41.9 m),[378][379] abuts Diana Ross Playground to the south and the Seneca Village site, occupied by the Mariners Gate playground, to the north.[4] Turtle Pond's western shore contains Belvedere Castle, Delacorte Theater, the Shakespeare Garden, and Marionette Theatre.[4] The section between the 79th Street transverse and Terrace Drive at 72nd Street contains three main natural features: the forested Ramble, the L-shaped Lake, and Conservatory Water. Cherry Hill is to the south of the Lake, while Cedar Hill is to the east.[4][275]
The southernmost part of Central Park, below Terrace Drive, contains several children's attractions and other Flagship features.[4] It contains many of the structures built in Central Park's initial stage of construction, designed in the Victorian Gothic style.[380] Directly facing the southEastern shore of the Lake is a bi-level hall called Bethesda Terrace, which contains an elaborate fountain on its lower level.[380][381][382] Bethesda Terrace connects to Central Park Mall, a landscaped walkway and the only formal feature in the Greensward Plan.[4][380] Near the southwestern shore of the Lake is Strawberry Fields, a memorial to John Lennon who was murdered nearby;[4][383] Sheep Meadow, a lawn originally intended for use as a parade ground;[384] and Tavern on the Green, a restaurant.[4] The southern border of Central Park contains the "Children's District",[385] an area that includes Heckscher Playground, the Central Park Carousel, the Ballplayers House, and the Chess and Checkers House.[4][385] Wollman Rink/Victorian Gardens, the Central Park Zoo and Children's Zoo, the Arsenal, and the Pond and Hallett Nature Sanctuary are nearby.[4][275] The Arsenal, a red-brick building designed by Martin E. Thompson in 1851, has been NYC Parks' headquarters since 1934.[386][387]
There are 21 children's playgrounds in Central Park. The largest, at three acres (12,000 m2), is Heckscher Playground.[10] Central Park includes 36 ornamental bridges, each of a different design.[388][389][386] The bridges are generally designed in the Gothic Revival or Romanesque Revival styles and are made of wood, stone, or cast iron.[386] "Rustic" shelters and other structures were originally spread out through the park. Most have been demolished over the years, and several have been restored.[386][390][391] The park contains around 9,500 benches in three styles, of which nearly half have small engraved tablets of some kind, installed as part of Central Park's "Adopt-a-Bench" program. These engravings typically contain short personalized messages and can be installed for at least $10,000 apiece. "Handmade rustic benches" can cost more than half a million dollars and are only granted when the honoree underwrites a major park project.[392][393]
Panoramic view including Delacorte Theater, Great Lawn and Turtle PondDelacorte Theater, Great Lawn and Turtle Pond, from Belvedere CastleArt and monumentsSculpturesMain article: Public art in Central ParkBethesda Fountain angel at the center of a brick plazaAngel of the Waters (1873) in Bethesda FountainTwenty-nine sculptures have been erected within Central Park's boundaries.[380][394][395] Most of the sculptures were not part of the Greensward Plan, but were nevertheless included to placate wealthy donors when appreciation of art increased in the late 19th century.[157][396][397] Though Vaux and Mould proposed 26 statues in the Terrace in 1862, these were eliminated because they were too expensive.[396] More sculptures were added through the late 19th century, and by 1890s, there were 24 in the park.[398]
Several busts of authors and poets are on Literary Walk adjacent to the Central Park Mall.[380][399][400] Another cluster of sculptures, around the Zoo and Conservancy Water, are statues of characters from children's stories. A third sculpture grouping primarily depicts "subjects in nature" such as animals and hunters.[380]
Several sculptures stand out because of their geography and topography.[380] Alice in Wonderland Margaret Delacorte Memorial (1959), a sculpture of Alice, is at Conservatory Water.[401][402] Angel of the Waters (1873), by Emma Stebbins, is the centerpiece of Bethesda Fountain;[382][396] it was the first large public sculpture commission for an American woman[403] and the only statue included in the original park design.[396] Balto (1925), a statue of Balto, the sled dog who became famous during the 1925 serum run to Nome, is near East Drive and East 66th Street.[404] King Jagiello Monument (1939), a bronze monument installed in 1945, is at the east end of Turtle Pond.[405] Women's Rights Pioneers Monument (2020), a monument of Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton,[406] was the city's first statue to depict a female historical figure.[407][408]
Structures and exhibitionsAn obelisk named Cleopatra's NeedleCleopatra's Needle, the park's oldest man-made structureCleopatra's Needle, a red granite obelisk west of the Metropolitan Museum of Art,[4] is the oldest man-made structure in Central Park.[409] The needle in Central Park is one of three Cleopatra's Needles that were originally erected at the Temple of Ra in Heliopolis in Ancient Egypt around 1450 BC by the Pharaoh Thutmose III.[409][410][411] The hieroglyphs were inscribed about 200 years later by Pharaoh Rameses II to glorify his military victories. The needles are so named because they were later moved to in front of the Caesarium in Alexandria, a temple originally built by Cleopatra VII of Egypt in honor of Mark Antony.[412] The needle in Central Park arrived in late 1880 and was dedicated early the following year.[409][411][413]
The Strawberry Fields memorial, near Central Park West and 72nd Street,[4] is a memorial commemorating John Lennon, who was murdered outside the nearby Dakota apartment building. The city dedicated Strawberry Fields in Lennon's honor in April 1981,[414] and the memorial was completely rebuilt and rededicated on what would have been Lennon's 45th birthday, October 9, 1985.[415] Countries from all around the world contributed trees, and Italy donated the "Imagine" mosaic in the center of the memorial. It has since become the site of impromptu memorial gatherings for other notables.[416][417]
For 16 days in 2005, Central Park was the setting for Christo and Jeanne-Claude's installation The Gates, an exhibition that had been planned since 1979.[418] Although the project was the subject of mixed reactions, it was a major attraction for the park while it was open, drawing over a million people.[419]
RestaurantsCentral Park contains two indoor restaurants. Tavern on the Green, at Central Park West and West 67th Street, was built in 1870 as a sheepfold and was converted into a restaurant in 1934.[179][181][182] The Tavern on the Green was renovated and expanded in 1974;[420] it was closed in 2009 and reopened five years later after a renovation.[421] The Loeb Boathouse restaurant is at the Loeb Boathouse, on the Lake, near Fifth Avenue between 74th and 75th streets.[185][186] Though the boathouse was constructed in 1954,[186] its restaurant opened in 1983.[422]
ActivitiesToursA horse-drawn carriage by the parkHorse-drawn carriage by the parkIn the late 19th century, West and East Drives was a popular place for carriage rides, though only five percent of the city was able to afford a carriage. One of the main attractions in the park's early years was the introduction of the "Carriage Parade", a daily display of horse-drawn carriages that traversed the park.[133][423][139] The introduction of the automobile caused the carriage industry to die out by World War I,[423] though the carriage-horse tradition was revived in 1935.[424] The carriages have become a symbolic institution of the city; for instance, in a much-publicized event after the September 11 attacks, Mayor Rudy Giuliani went to the stables to ask the drivers to go back to work to help return a sense of normality.[424]
Some activists, celebrities, and politicians have questioned the ethics of the carriage-horse industry and called for its end.[425] The history of accidents involving spooked horses came under scrutiny in the 2000s and 2010s after reports of horses collapsing and even dying.[426][427] Supporters of the trade say it needs to be reformed rather than shut down.[428] Some replacements have been proposed, including electric vintage cars.[429][430] Bill de Blasio, in his successful 2013 mayoral campaign, pledged to eliminate horse carriage tours if he was elected;[431] as of August 2018, had only succeeded in relocating the carriage pick-up areas.[432]
Pedicabs operate mostly in the southern part of the park, as horse carriages do. The pedicabs have been criticized: there have been reports of pedicab drivers charging exorbitant fares of several hundred dollars,[433][434] and de Blasio proposed restricting pedicabs below 85th Street to eliminate competition for the carriage horses.[435]
RecreationThe park's drives, which are 6.1 miles (9.8 km) long, are used heavily by runners, joggers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and inline skaters.[3][11] The park drives contain protected bike lanes[436] and are used as the home course for the racing series of the Century Road Club Association, a USA Cycling-sanctioned amateur cycling club.[437] In 2021, e-scooters were legalized in New York, including in Central Park.[438] The park is used for professional running, and the New York Road Runners designated a 5-mile (8.0 km) running loop within Central Park.[439] The New York City Marathon course utilizes several miles of drives within Central Park and finishes outside Tavern on the Green;[440] from 1970 through 1975, the race was held entirely in Central Park.[441]
There are 26 baseball fields in Central Park: eight on the Great Lawn, six at Heckscher Ballfields near Columbus Circle, and twelve in the North Meadow.[442][443][444] 12 tennis courts, six non-regulation soccer fields (which overlap with the North Meadow ball fields), four basketball courts, and a recreation center are in the North Meadow.[444][445] An additional soccer field and four basketball courts are at Great Lawn.[444] Four volleyball courts are in the southern part of the park.[446]
Central Park has two ice skating rinks: Wollman Rink in its southern portion and Lasker Rink in its northern portion.[447] During summer, the former is the site of Victorian Gardens seasonal amusem*nt park,[448] and the latter converts to an outdoor swimming pool.[449][450]
Central Park's glaciated rock outcroppings attract climbers, especially boulderers, but the quality of the stone is poor, and the climbs present so little challenge that it has been called "one of America's most pathetic boulders".[268] The two most renowned spots for boulderers are Rat Rock and Cat Rock. Other rocks frequented by climbers, mostly at the south end of the park, include Dog Rock, Duck Rock, Rock N' Roll Rock, and Beaver Rock.[451]
Concerts and performancesThe covered stage known as Summerstage with a band entertaining a crowd of peopleSummerstage in Central Park features free musical concerts throughout the summer.Central Park has been the site of concerts almost since its inception. Originally, they were hosted in the Ramble, but these were moved to the Concert Ground next to the Mall in the 1870s.[452] The weekend concerts hosted in the Mall drew tens of thousands of visitors from all social classes.[453] Since 1923, concerts have been held in Naumburg Bandshell, a bandshell of Indiana limestone on the Mall.[454] Named for banker Elkan Naumburg, who funded its construction, the bandshell has deteriorated over the years but has never been fully restored.[455] The oldest free classical music concert series in the United States—the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts, founded in 1905—is hosted in the bandshell.[456] Other large concerts include The Concert in Central Park, a benefit performance by Simon & Garfunkel in 1981,[457] and Garth: Live from Central Park, a free concert by Garth Brooks in 1997.[458]
Several arts groups are dedicated to performing in Central Park.[456] These include Central Park Brass, which performs concert series,[459] and the New York Classical Theatre, which produces an annual series of plays.[460]
There are several regular summer events. The Public Theater presents free open-air theater productions, such as Shakespeare in the Park, in the Delacorte Theater.[461][462] The City Parks Foundation offers Central Park Summerstage, a series of free performances including music, dance, spoken word, and film presentations, often featuring famous performers.[456][463] Additionally, the New York Philharmonic gives an open-air concert on the Great Lawn yearly during the summer,[456] and from 1967 until 2007, the Metropolitan Opera presented two operas in concert each year.[464] Every August since 2003, the Central Park Conservancy has hosted the Central Park Film Festival, a series of free film Park incorporates a system of pedestrian walkways, scenic drives, bridle paths, and transverse roads to aid traffic circulation,[361] and it is easily accessible via several subway stations and bus routes.[466]
Public transportSubway entrance just outside Central ParkEntrance to the Fifth Avenue–59th Street subway station just outside Central ParkThe New York City Subway's IND Eighth Avenue Line (A, ​B, ​C, and ​D trains) runs along the western edge of the park. Most of the Eighth Avenue Line stations on Central Park West serve only the local B and ​C trains, while the 59th Street–Columbus Circle station is additionally served by the express A and ​D trains and the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line (1 train). The IRT Lenox Avenue Line (2 and ​3 trains) has a station at Central Park North. From there the line curves southwest under the park and heads west under 104th Street. On the southEastern corner of the park, the BMT Broadway Line (N, ​R, and ​W trains) has a station at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street.[467] The 63rd Street lines (F, <F>​​, and Q trains) pass underneath without stopping,[467] and the line contains a single ventilation shaft within the park, west of Fifth Avenue and 63rd Street.[272]
Various bus routes pass through Central Park or stop along its boundaries. The M10 bus stops along Central Park West, while the M5 and part of the M7 runs along Central Park South, and the M2, M3 and M4 run along Central Park North. The M1, M2, M3, and M4 run southbound along Fifth Avenue with corresponding northbound bus service on Madison Avenue. The M66, M72, M79 SBS (Select Bus Service), M86 SBS, M96 and M106 buses use the transverse roads across Central Park. The M12, M20 and M104 only serve Columbus Circle on the south end of the park, and the M31 and M57 run on 57th Street two blocks from the park's south end but do not stop on the boundaries of the park.[466]
Some of the buses running on the edge of Central Park replaced former streetcar routes that formerly traveled across Manhattan. These streetcar routes included the Sixth Avenue line, which became the M5 bus, and the Eighth Avenue line, which became the M10.[468] Only one streetcar line traversed Central Park: the 86th Street Crosstown Line, the predecessor to the M86 bus.[469]
Transverse roadsA stone transverse arch66th Street transverseCentral Park contains four transverse roadways that carry crosstown traffic across the park.[4][86][361] From south to north, they are at 66th Street, 79th Street, 86th Street, and 97th Street; the transverse roads were originally numbered sequentially in that order. The 66th Street transverse connects the discontinuous sections of 65th and 66th streets on either side of the park. The 97th Street transverse likewise joins the disconnected segments of 96th and 97th streets. The 79th Street transverse links West 81st and East 79th streets, while the 86th Street transverse links West 86th Street with East 84th and 85th streets.[4] Each roadway carries two lanes, one in each direction, and is sunken below the level of the rest of the park to minimize the transverses' visual impact on it.[86][361] The transverse roadways are open even when the park is closed.[470]
The 66th Street transverse was the first to be finished, having opened in December 1859.[471] The 79th Street transverse—which passed under Vista Rock, Central Park's second-highest point—was completed by a railroad contractor because of their experience in drilling through hard rock;[472] it opened in December 1860. The 86th and 97th Street transverses opened in late 1862.[471] By the 1890s, maintenance had decreased to the point where the 86th Street transverse handled most crosstown traffic because the other transverse roads had been so poorly maintained.[161] Both ends of the 79th Street transverse were widened in 1964 to accommodate increased traffic.[473] Generally, the transverses were not maintained as frequently as the rest of the park, though being used more frequently than the park proper.[474]
Scenic drivesA Center Drive intersection with four cars stopped at a cross roadCenter Drive in Central ParkThe park has three scenic drives that travel through it vertically.[4] They have multiple traffic lights at the intersections with pedestrian paths, although there are some arches and bridges where pedestrian and drive traffic can cross without intersection.[361][388][389] To discourage park patrons from speeding, the designers incorporated extensive curves in the park drives.[475][476]
West Drive is the westernmost of the park's three vertical "drives". The road, which carries southbound bicycle and horse-carriage traffic, winds through the western part of Central Park, connecting Lenox Avenue/Central Park North with Seventh Avenue/Central Park South and Central Drive.[4] The drive is dangerous; in 2014, a 0.5-mile (0.80 km) stretch of West Drive was considered to be "the most dangerous section of Central Park" for pedestrians, with bicycle crashes along the drive leaving 15 people injured.[477]
Center Drive (also known as the "Central Park Lower Loop"[478]) connects northbound bicycle and carriage traffic from Midtown at Central Park South/Sixth Avenue to East Drive near the 66th Street transverse. The street generally goes east and then north, forming the bottom part of the Central Park loop. The attractions along Center Drive include Victorian Gardens, the Central Park Carousel, and the Central Park Mall.[4]
East Drive, the Easternmost of the three drives, connects northbound bicycle and carriage traffic from Midtown to the Upper West Side at Lenox Avenue. The street is renowned for its country scenery and free concerts. It generally straddles the east side of the park along Fifth Avenue. The drive passes by the Central Park Zoo around 63rd Street and the Metropolitan Museum of Art from 80th to 84th Streets. Unlike the rest of the drive system, which is generally serpentine, East Drive is straight between the 86th and 96th Street transverses, because it is between Fifth Avenue and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.[4] East Drive is known as the "Elite Carriage Parade", because it was where the carriage procession occurred at the time of the park's opening, and because only five percent of the city was able to afford the carriage. In the late 19th century, West and East Drives were popular places for carriage rides.[139]
Two other scenic drives cross the park horizontally. Terrace Drive is at 72nd Street and connects West and East Drives, passing over Bethesda Terrace and Fountain. The 102nd Street Crossing, further north near the street of the same name, is a former carriage drive connecting West and East Drives.[4]
Modifications and closuresIn Central Park's earliest years, the speed limits were set at 5 miles per hour (8.0 km/h) for carriages and 6 mph (9.7 km/h) for horses, which were later raised to 7 mph (11 km/h) and 10 mph (16 km/h) respectively. Commercial vehicles and buses were banned from the park.[475] Automobiles became more common in Central Park during the 1900s and 1910s, and they often broke the speed limits, resulting in crashes. To increase safety, the gravel roads were paved in 1912, and the carriage speed limit was raised to 15 mph (24 km/h) two years later. With the proliferation of cars among the middle class in the 1920s, traffic increased on the drives, to as many as eight thousand cars per hour in 1929.[423] The roads were still dangerous; in the first ten months of 1929, eight people were killed and 249 were injured in 338 separate collisions.[479]
In November 1929, the scenic drives were converted from two-way traffic to unidirectional traffic.[480] Further improvements were made in 1932 when forty-two traffic lights were installed along the scenic drives, and the speed limit was lowered to 25 miles per hour (40 km/h). The signals were coordinated so that drivers could go through all of the green lights if they maintained a steady speed of 25 miles per hour (40 km/h).[423][481] The drives were experimentally closed to automotive traffic on weekends beginning in 1967, for exclusive use by pedestrians and bicyclists.[482] In subsequent years, the scenic drives were closed to automotive traffic for most of the day during the summer. By 1979, the drives were only open during rush hours and late evenings during the summer.[483]
Legislation was proposed in October 2014 to conduct a study to make the park car-free in summer 2015.[247] In 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the permanent closure of West and East Drives north of 72nd Street to vehicular traffic as it was proven that closing the roads did not adversely impact traffic.[484] After most of the Central Park loop drives were closed to vehicular traffic, the city performed a follow-up study. The city found that West Drive was open for two hours during the morning rush period and was used by an average of 1,050 vehicles a day, while East Drive was open 12 hours a day and was used by an average of 3,400 vehicles daily.[485] Subsequently, all cars were banned from East Drive in January 2018.[486] In April 2018, de Blasio announced that the entirety of the three loop drives would be closed permanently to traffic.[485][487] The closure was put into effect in June 2018.[246][247]
During the early 21st century, there were numerous collisions in Central Park involving cyclists. The 2014 death of Jill Tarlov, after she was hit by a cyclist on West 63rd Street, called attention to the issue.[488] Approximately 300 people a year have been injured in cycling-related accidents since the city started tracking the issue in 2011.[489] That year, residents of nearby communities unsuccessfully petitioned the NYPD to increase enforcement of cycling rules within the park.[490]
IssuesThe North Woods with a pathway to the right and a bridge over a stream in the centerNorth Woods, one of several places where crimes were reported during the 1989 Central Park jogger caseCrime and neglectIn the mid-20th century, Central Park had a reputation for being very dangerous, especially after dark.[491] Such a viewpoint was reinforced following a 1941 incident when 12-year-old Jerome Dore fatally stabbed 15-year-old James O'Connell in the northern section of the park.[492][493] Local tabloids cited this incident and several other crimes as evidence of a highly exaggerated "crime wave". Though recorded crime had indeed increased since Central Park opened in the late 1850s, this was in line with crime trends seen in the rest of the city.[491] Central Park's reputation for crime was reinforced by its worldwide name recognition, and the fact that crimes in the park were covered disproportionately compared to crimes in the rest of the city. For instance, in 1973 The New York Times wrote stories about 20% of murders that occurred citywide but wrote about three of the four murders that took place in Central Park that year. By the 1970s and 1980s, the number of murders in the police precincts north of Central Park was 18 times higher than the number of murders within the park itself, and even in the precincts south of the park, the number of murders was three times as high.[494]
The park was the site of numerous high-profile crimes during the late 20th century. Of these, two particularly notable cases shaped public perception against the park.[494] In 1986, Robert Chambers murdered Jennifer Levin in what was later called the "preppy murder."[495][496] Three years later, an investment banker was raped and brutally beaten in what came to be known as the Central Park jogger case.[497][498] Conversely, other crimes such as the 1984 gang-rape of two homeless women were barely reported.[494] After World War II, it was feared that gay men perpetrated sex crimes and attracted violence.[499] Other problems in the 1970s and 1980s included a drug epidemic, a large homeless presence, vandalism, and neglect.[216][500][501]
As crime has declined in New York City, many of these negative perceptions have waned.[494] Safety measures keep the number of crimes in the park to fewer than 100 per year as of 2019, down from approximately 1,000 in the early 1980s.[29] Some well-publicized crimes have occurred since then: for instance, on June 11, 2000, following the Puerto Rican Day Parade, gangs of drunken men sexually assaulted women in the park.[502]
Other issuesPermission to hold issue-centered rallies in Central Park, similar to the be-ins of the 1960s, has been met with increasingly stiff resistance from the city. During some 2004 protests, the organization United for Peace and Justice wanted to hold a rally on the Great Lawn during the Republican National Convention. The city denied an application for a permit, stating that such a mass gathering would be harmful to the grass and the damage would make it harder to collect private donations to maintain the park.[503] A judge of the New York Supreme Court's New York County branch upheld the refusal.[504]
During the 2000s and 2010s, new supertall skyscrapers were constructed along the southern end of Central Park, in a corridor commonly known as Billionaires' Row. According to a Municipal Art Society report, such buildings cast long shadows over the southern end of the park.[505][506] A 2016 analysis by The New York Times found that some of the tallest and skinniest skyscrapers, such as One57, Central Park Tower, and 220 Central Park South, would cast shadows that can be as much as 1 mile (1.6 km) long during the winter, covering up to a third of the park's length.[507] In 2018, the New York City Council proposed legislation that would restrict the construction of skyscrapers near city parks.[508]
ImpactCultural significancePeople seated or reclining on the large grass area known as Sheep MeadowSheep Meadow, a common place for gatheringsFor a list of films, TV shows, and other media where Central Park has appeared, see Central Park in popular culture.Central Park's size and cultural position has served as a model for many urban parks.[509][510] Olmsted believed landscape design was a way to improve the feeling of community and had intended the park as the antithesis of the stresses of the city's daily life.[511] The Greensward Plan, radical at the time of its construction, led to widespread changes in park designs and urban planning; in particular, parks were designed to incorporate landscapes whose elements were related to each other.[512][513]
A New York City icon, Central Park is the most filmed location in the world.[514][515] A December 2017 report found that 231 movies had used it for on-location shoots, more than the 160 movies that had filmed in Greenwich Village or the 99 movies that had filmed in Times Square.[514][516] Some of the movies filmed at Central Park, such as the 1993 film The Age of Innocence, reflect ideals of the past. Other films, including The Fisher King (1991), Marathon Man (1976), The Out of Towners (1970), and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), use the park for dramatic conflict scenes. Central Park has been used in romance films such as Maid in Manhattan (2002), 13 Going on 30 (2004) or Hitch (2005), and fantasy live-action/animated films such as Enchanted (2007).[517] In 2009, an estimated 4,000 days of film shoots were hosted, or an average of more than ten film shoots per day, accounting for $135.5 million in city revenue.[21]
Because of its cultural and historical significance, Central Park has been a National Historic Landmark since 1962,[518][519][520] and a New York City designated scenic landmark since 1974.[1] It was placed on UNESCO's list of tentative World Heritage Sites in 2017.[521]
Real estate and economyA view of skyscrapers from the Pond, at the southern border of Central ParkSkyscrapers at the southern border of Central ParkThe value of the surrounding land started rising significantly in the mid-1860s during the park's construction.[272][522] The completion of Central Park immediately increased the surrounding area's real estate prices, in some cases by up to 700 percent between 1858 and 1870.[523][524] It also resulted in the creation of the zoning plan in Upper Manhattan.[525] Upscale districts grew on both sides of Central Park following its completion.[526] On the Upper East Side, a portion of Fifth Avenue abutting lower Central Park became known as "Millionaires' Row" by the 1890s, due to the concentration of wealthy families in the area.[526][527] The Upper West Side took longer to develop, but row houses and luxury apartment buildings came to predominate the neighborhood, and some were later included in the Central Park West Historic District.[526][528] Though most of the city's rich formerly lived in mansions, they moved into apartments close to Central Park during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.[529]
During the late 20th century, until Central Park's restoration in the 1990s, proximity to the park did not have a significant positive effect on real estate values. Following Central Park's restoration, some of the city's most expensive properties have been sold or rented near the park.[501] The value of the land in Central Park was estimated to be about $528.8 billion in December 2005, though this was based on the park's impact on the average value of nearby land.[530]
In the modern day, it is estimated that Central Park has resulted in billions of dollars in economic impact. A 2009 study found that the city received annual tax revenue of more than $656 million, visitors spent more than $395 million due to the park, in-park businesses such as concessions generated $135.5 million, and the 4,000 hours of annual film shoots and other photography generated $135.6 million of economic output.[21] In 2013, about 550,000 people lived within a ten-minute walk (about 0.5 miles or 0.80 kilometers) of the park's boundaries, and 1.15 million more people could get to the park within a half-hour subway ride.[501]
Manhattan (/mænˈhætən, mən-/) is the most densely populated and geographically smallest of the five boroughs of New York City. The borough is also coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. Located near the southern tip of New York State, Manhattan is based in the Eastern Time Zone and constitutes both the geographical and demographic center of the Northeast megalopolis and the urban core of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass.[7] Over 58 million people live within 250 miles of Manhattan,[8] which serves as New York City's economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, center of glamor,[9] and the city's historical birthplace.[10] Residents of the outer boroughs of New York City often refer to Manhattan as "the City".[11]
Manhattan has been described as the cultural, financial, media, and entertainment capital of the world,[12][13][14][15] and hosts the United Nations headquarters.[16] Manhattan also serves as the headquarters of the global art market, with numerous art galleries and sale houses collectively hosting half of the world's art sales.[17]
Situated on one of the world's largest natural harbors, the borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers along with several small adjacent islands, including Roosevelt, U Thant, and Randalls and Wards Islands. Manhattan additionally contains the small neighborhood of Marble Hill on the U.S. mainland, which is separated from Manhattan Island by the Harlem Ship Canal and was later connected using landfill to the Bronx. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each cutting across the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.
Anchored by Wall Street in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City has been called both the most economically powerful city and the leading financial and fintech center of the world,[18][19][20][21] and Manhattan is home to the world's two largest stock exchanges by total market capitalization, the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.[22][23] Many multinational media conglomerates are based in Manhattan, and the borough has been the setting for numerous books, films, and television shows. Driven by Manhattan, New York's real estate market is the most expensive in the world,[24] with the value of Manhattan Island, including real estate, estimated to exceed US$4 trillion in 2021. Median residential property sale prices in Manhattan approximated US$1,600 per square foot ($17,000/m2) as of 2018,[25] with Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan commanding the highest retail rents in the world, at US$3,000 per square foot ($32,000/m2) per year in 2017.[26] In 2022, the average monthly apartment rent in Manhattan climbed over US$5,000.00 for the first time.[27]
The area of present-day Manhattan was originally part of Lenape territory.[28] European settlement began with the establishment of a trading post founded by colonists from the Dutch Republic in 1624 on Lower Manhattan; the post was named New Amsterdam in 1626. The territory and its surroundings came under English control in 1664[29] and were renamed New York after King Charles II of England granted the lands to his brother, the Duke of York.[30] New York, based in present-day Manhattan, served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790.[31] The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor greeted millions of immigrants as they came to America by ship in the late 19th century[32] and is a world symbol of the United States and its ideals of liberty and peace.[33] Manhattan became a borough during the consolidation of New York City in 1898.
New York County is the smallest county by land area in the contiguous United States, as well as the most densely populated U.S. county.[34] Manhattan is one of the most densely populated locations in the world, with a 2020 census population of 1,694,251 living in a land area of 22.83 square miles (59.13 km2),[35][36][5] or 72,918 residents per square mile (28,154 residents/km2), higher than the density of any individual U.S. city.[37] On business days, the influx of commuters increases this number to over 3.9 million,[38] or more than 170,000 people per square mile (66,000 people/km2). Manhattan has the third-largest population of New York City's five boroughs, after Brooklyn and Queens, and is the smallest borough in terms of land area.[39] If each borough were ranked as a city, Manhattan would rank as the sixth-most populous in the U.S.
Many districts and landmarks in Manhattan are well known, as New York City received a record 62.8 million tourists in 2017,[40] and Manhattan hosts three of the world's 10 most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, and Grand Central Terminal.[41] The Empire State Building has become the global standard of reference to describe the height and length of other structures.[42] Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan is the busiest transportation hub in the Western Hemisphere.[43] The borough hosts many prominent bridges, including the Brooklyn, Manhattan, Williamsburg, Queensboro, Triborough, and George Washington Bridges; tunnels such as the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels; skyscrapers including the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and One World Trade Center;[44] and parks, such as Central Park. Chinatown incorporates the highest concentration of Chinese people in the Western Hemisphere,[45] and Koreatown is replete with karaoke bars.[46] The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, part of the Stonewall National Monument, is considered the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement.[47][48] The City of New York was founded at the southern tip of Manhattan,[49] and the borough houses New York City Hall, the seat of the city's government.[50] Numerous colleges and universities are located in Manhattan,[51] including Columbia University, New York University, Cornell Tech, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the world.[52][53] The Metropolitan Museum of Art is both the largest and most visited art museum in the United States and hosts the globally focused Met Gala haute couture fashion event annually. Governors Island in New York Harbor is planned to host a US$1 billion research and education center poised to make New York City the global leader in addressing the climate crisis.[54]
EtymologyThe name Manhattan originated from the Munsee Lenape language term manaháhtaan (where manah- means "gather", -aht- means "bow", and -aan is an abstract element used to form verb stems). The Lenape word has been translated as "the place where we get bows" or "place for gathering the (wood to make) bows".
According to a Munsee tradition recorded by Albert Seqaqkind Anthony in the 19th century, the island was named so for a grove of hickory trees at its southern end that was considered ideal for the making of bows.[55] It was first recorded in writing as Manna-hata, in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, an officer on Henry Hudson's yacht Halve Maen (Half Moon).[56]
A 1610 map depicts the name Manna-hata twice, on both the east and west sides of the Mauritius River, later named the North River and ultimately the Hudson River. Alternative etymologies in folklore include "island of many hills",[57] "the island where we all became intoxicated" and simply "island", as well as a phrase descriptive of the whirlpool at Hell Gate.[58] It is thought that the term Manhattoe may originally have referred only to a location at the southern tip of the island before eventually signifying the entire island to the Dutch through pars pro toto.
HistorySee also: History of New York CityHistory of New York CityLenape and New Netherland, to 1664New AmsterdamBritish and Revolution, 1665–1783Federal and early American, 1784–1854Tammany and Consolidation, 1855–1897(Civil War, 1861–1865)Early 20th century, 1898–1945Post–World War II, 1946–1977Modern and post-9/11, 1978–presentSee alsoTransportationTimelines: NYC • Bronx • Brooklyn • Queens • Staten IslandCategoryvteLenape settlementManhattan was historically part of the Lenapehoking territory inhabited by the Munsee Lenape[59] and Wappinger tribes.[60] There were several Lenape settlements in the area of Manhattan including Sapohanikan, Nechtanc, and Konaande Kongh that were interconnected by a series of trails. The primary trail on the island ran from what is now Inwood in the north to Battery Park in the south. There were various sites for fishing and planting established by the Lenape throughout Manhattan.[28] The 48-acre (19 ha) Collect Pond, which fed the fresh water streams and marshes around it, was also an important meeting and trading location for the people in the area.[61][62]
Colonial eraMain articles: New Netherland, New Amsterdam, and Province of New York
Peter Minuit, early 1600s
Pieter Schaghen's 1626 letter saying Manhattan was purchased for 60 guilders
The Castello Plan showing the Dutch city of New Amsterdam in 1660, at the southern tip of ManhattanIn 1524, Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano, sailing in service of King Francis I of France, became the first documented European to visit the area that would become New York City. Verrazzano entered the tidal strait now known as The Narrows and named the land around Upper New York Harbor New Angoulême, in reference to the family name of King Francis I that was derived from Angoulême in France; he sailed far enough into the harbor to sight the Hudson River, which he referred to in his report to the French king as a "very big river"; and he named the Bay of Santa Margarita – what is now Upper New York Bay – after Marguerite de Navarre, the elder sister of the king.[63][64]
It was not until the voyage of Henry Hudson, an Englishman who worked for the Dutch East India Company, that the area was mapped.[65] Hudson came across Manhattan Island and the native people living there in 1609, and continued up the river that would later bear his name, the Hudson River, until he arrived at the site of present-day Albany.[66]
A permanent European presence in New Netherland began in 1624, with the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement on Governors Island. In 1625, construction was started on the citadel of Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, later called New Amsterdam (Nieuw Amsterdam), in what is now Lower Manhattan.[67][68] The 1625 establishment of Fort Amsterdam at the southern tip of Manhattan Island is recognized as the birth of New York City.[69]
According to a letter by Pieter Janszoon Schagen, Peter Minuit and Walloon colonists of the West India Company acquired the island of Manhattan on May 24, 1626, from unnamed native people, who are believed to have been Canarsee Indians of the Manhattoe, in exchange for traded goods worth 60 guilders,[70] often said to be worth US$24. The figure of 60 guilders comes from a letter by a representative of the Dutch Estates General and member of the board of the Dutch West India Company, Pieter Janszoon Schagen, to the Estates General in November 1626.[71] In 1846, New York historian John Romeyn Brodhead converted the figure of Fl 60 (or 60 guilders) to US$24 (he arrived at $24 = Fl 60/2.5, because the US dollar was erroneously equated with the Dutch rijksdaalder having a standard value of 2.5 guilders).[72] "[A] variable-rate myth being a contradiction in terms, the purchase price remains forever frozen at twenty-four dollars," as authors Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace remarked in their history of New York.[73] Sixty guilders in 1626 was valued at approximately $1,000 in 2006 and $963 in 2020, according to the Institute for Social History of Amsterdam.[74] Based on the price of silver, "The Straight Dope" newspaper column calculated an equivalent of $72 in 1992.[75] Historians James and Michelle Nevius revisited the issue in 2014, suggesting that using the prices of beer and brandy as monetary equivalencies, the price Minuit paid would have the purchasing power of somewhere between $2,600 and $15,600 in current dollars.[76] According to the writer Nathaniel Benchley, Minuit conducted the transaction with Seyseys, chief of the Canarsee, who were willing to accept valuable merchandise in exchange for the island that was mostly controlled by the Weckquaesgeeks, a band of the Wappinger.[77]
In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant was appointed as the last Dutch Director-General of the colony.[78] New Amsterdam was formally incorporated as a city on February 2, 1653.[79] In 1674, the English bought New Netherland, after Holland lost rentable sugar business in Brazil, and renamed it "New York" after the English Duke of York and Albany, the future King James II.[80] The Dutch, under Director General Stuyvesant, successfully negotiated with the English to produce 24 articles of provisional transfer, which sought to retain for the extant citizens of New Netherland their previously attained liberties (including freedom of religion) under their new English rulers.[81][68]New Amsterdam, centered in what eventually became Lower Manhattan, in 1664, the year England took control and renamed it New YorkThe Dutch Republic re-captured the city in August 1673, renaming it "New Orange". New Netherland was ultimately ceded to the English in November 1674 through the Treaty of Westminster.[82]Washington's statue in front of Federal Hall on Wall Street, where in 1789 he was sworn in as first U.S. president[83]American Revolution and the early United StatesManhattan was at the heart of the New York Campaign, a series of major battles in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War. The Continental Army was forced to abandon Manhattan after the Battle of Fort Washington on November 16, 1776. The city, greatly damaged by the Great Fire of New York during the campaign, became the British military and political center of operations in North America for the remainder of the war.[84] The military center for the colonists was established in neighboring New Jersey.[85][86] British occupation lasted until November 25, 1783, when George Washington returned to Manhattan, as the last British forces left the city.[87]
From January 11, 1785, to the fall of 1788, New York City was the fifth of five capitals of the United States under the Articles of Confederation, with the Continental Congress meeting at New York City Hall (then at Fraunces Tavern). New York was the first capital under the newly enacted Constitution of the United States, from March 4, 1789, to August 12, 1790, at Federal Hall.[88] Federal Hall was also the site where the United States Supreme Court met for the first time,[89] the United States Bill of Rights were drafted and ratified,[90] and where the Northwest Ordinance was adopted, establishing measures for adding new states to the Union.[91]
19th centuryNew York grew as an economic center, first as a result of Alexander Hamilton's policies and practices as the first Secretary of the Treasury and, later, with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, which connected the Atlantic port to the vast agricultural markets of the Midwestern United States and Canada.[92][93] By 1810, New York City, then confined to Manhattan, had surpassed Philadelphia as the largest city in the United States.[94] The Commissioners' Plan of 1811 laid out the island of Manhattan in its familiar grid plan.Manhattan in 1873. The Brooklyn Bridge was under construction from 1870 until 1883.Tammany Hall, a Democratic Party political machine, began to grow in influence with the support of many of the immigrant Irish, culminating in the election of the first Tammany mayor, Fernando Wood, in 1854. Tammany Hall dominated local politics for decades. Central Park, which opened to the public in 1858, became the first landscaped public park in an American city.[95][96]
New York City played a complex role in the American Civil War. The city's strong commercial ties to the southern United States existed for many reasons, including the industrial power of the Hudson River, which allowed trade with stops such as the West Point Foundry, one of the great manufacturing operations in the early United States; and the city's Atlantic Ocean ports, rendering New York City the American powerhouse in terms of industrial trade between the northern and southern United States. Anger arose about conscription, with resentment at those who could afford to pay $300 to avoid service leading to resentment against Lincoln's war policies and fomenting paranoia about free Blacks taking the poor immigrants' jobs,[97] culminating in the three-day-long New York Draft Riots of July 1863. These intense war-time riots are counted among the worst incidents of civil disorder in American history, with an estimated 119 participants and passersby massacred.[98]
The rate of immigration from Europe grew steeply after the Civil War, and Manhattan became the first stop for millions seeking a new life in the United States, a role acknowledged by the dedication of the Statue of Liberty on October 28, 1886, a gift from the people of France.[99][100] New York's growing immigrant population, which had earlier consisted mainly of German and Irish immigrants, began in the late 1800s to include waves of impoverished Italians and Central and Eastern European Jews flowing in en masse. This new European immigration brought further social upheaval. In a city of tenements packed with poorly paid laborers from dozens of nations, the city became a hotbed of revolution (including anarchists and communists among others), syndicalism, racketeering, and unionization.
In 1883, the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge established a road connection to Brooklyn, across the East River. In 1874, the western portion of the present Bronx County was transferred to New York County from Westchester County, and in 1895 the remainder of the present Bronx County was annexed.[101] In 1898, when New York City consolidated with three neighboring counties to form "the City of Greater New York", Manhattan and the Bronx, though still one county, were established as two separate boroughs. On January 1, 1914, the New York State Legislature created Bronx County and New York County was reduced to its present boundaries.[102]The "Sanitary & Topographical Map of the City and Island of New York", commonly known as the Viele Map, was created by Egbert Ludovicus Viele in 1865.20th centuryFurther information: Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and Stonewall riots
Manhattan's Little Italy, Lower East Side, c. 1900The construction of the New York City Subway, which opened in 1904, helped bind the new city together, as did additional bridges to Brooklyn. In the 1920s Manhattan experienced large arrivals of African-Americans as part of the Great Migration from the southern United States, and the Harlem Renaissance, part of a larger boom time in the Prohibition era that included new skyscrapers competing for the skyline. New York City became the most populous city in the world in 1925, overtaking London, which had reigned for a century.[103] Manhattan's majority white ethnic group declined from 98.7% in 1900 to 58.3% by 1990.[104]Manhattan personified, early 20th centuryOn March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Greenwich Village killed 146 garment workers. The disaster eventually led to overhauls of the city's fire department, building codes, and workplace regulations.[105]
The period between the World Wars saw the election of reformist mayor Fiorello La Guardia and the fall of Tammany Hall after 80 years of political dominance.[106] As the city's demographics stabilized, labor unionization brought new protections and affluence to the working class, the city's government and infrastructure underwent a dramatic overhaul under La Guardia. Despite the Great Depression, some of the world's tallest skyscrapers were completed in Manhattan during the 1930s, including numerous Art Deco masterpieces that are still part of the city's skyline, most notably the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, and the 30 Rockefeller Plaza.[107]V-J Day in Times Square in Times Square, 1945Returning World War II veterans created a postwar economic boom, which led to the development of huge housing developments targeted at returning veterans, the largest being Peter Cooper Village-Stuyvesant Town, which opened in 1947.[108] In 1951–1952, the United Nations relocated to a new headquarters the East Side of Manhattan.[109][110]
The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent protests by members of the gay community against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan. They are widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement[111][112] and the modern fight for LGBT rights.[113][114]
In the 1970s, job losses due to industrial restructuring caused New York City, including Manhattan, to suffer from economic problems and rising crime rates.[115] While a resurgence in the financial industry greatly improved the city's economic health in the 1980s, New York's crime rate continued to increase through the decade and into the beginning of the 1990s.[116]
The 1980s saw a rebirth of Wall Street, and Manhattan reclaimed its role at the center of the worldwide financial industry. The 1980s also saw Manhattan at the heart of the AIDS crisis, with Greenwich Village at its epicenter. The organizations Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) were founded to advocate on behalf of those stricken with the disease.
By the 1990s, crime rates started to drop dramatically due to revised police strategies, improving economic opportunities, gentrification, and new residents, both American transplants and new immigrants from Asia and Latin America. Murder rates that had reached 2,245 in 1990 plummeted to 537 by 2008, and the crack epidemic and its associated drug-related violence came under greater control.[117] The outflow of population turned around, as the city once again became the destination of immigrants from around the world, joining with low interest rates and Wall Street bonuses to fuel the growth of the real estate market.[118] Important new sectors, such as Silicon Alley, emerged in Manhattan's economy.
The newly completed Singer Building towering above the city, 1909The newly completed Singer Building towering above the city, 1909
A construction worker atop the Empire State Building as it was being built in 1930; to the right is the Chrysler Building.A construction worker atop the Empire State Building as it was being built in 1930; to the right is the Chrysler Building.
The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, a designated U.S. National Historic Landmark and National Monument, as the site of the June 1969 Stonewall riots and the cradle of the modern gay rights movement.[111][119][120]The Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, a designated U.S. National Historic Landmark and National Monument, as the site of the June 1969 Stonewall riots and the cradle of the modern gay rights movement.[111][119][120]
United Airlines Flight 175 hits the South Tower of the first World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.United Airlines Flight 175 hits the South Tower of the first World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
21st centuryFurther information: September 11 attacks
Flooding on Avenue C caused by Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012[121]On September 11, 2001, two of four hijacked planes were flown into the Twin Towers of the original World Trade Center, and the towers subsequently collapsed. 7 World Trade Center collapsed due to fires and structural damage caused by heavy debris falling from the collapse of the Twin Towers. The other buildings within the World Trade Center complex were damaged beyond repair and soon after demolished. The collapse of the Twin Towers caused extensive damage to other surrounding buildings and skyscrapers in Lower Manhattan, and resulted in the deaths of 2,606 people, in addition to those on the planes. Many rescue workers and residents of the area developed several life-threatening illnesses that have led to some of their subsequent deaths.[122]
Since 2001, most of Lower Manhattan has been restored, although there has been controversy surrounding the rebuilding. A memorial at the site was opened to the public on September 11, 2011, and the museum opened in 2014. In 2014, the new One World Trade Center, at 1,776 feet (541 m) and formerly known as the Freedom Tower, became the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere,[123] while other skyscrapers were under construction at the site.
The Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan began on September 17, 2011, receiving global attention and spawning the Occupy movement against social and economic inequality worldwide.[124]
On October 29 and 30, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive destruction in the borough, ravaging portions of Lower Manhattan with record-high storm surge from New York Harbor,[125] severe flooding, and high winds, causing power outages for hundreds of thousands of city residents[126] and leading to gasoline shortages[127] and disruption of mass transit systems.[128][129][130][131] The storm and its profound impacts have prompted the discussion of constructing seawalls and other coastal barriers around the shorelines of the borough and the metropolitan area to minimize the risk of destructive consequences from another such event in the future.[132] Around 15 percent of the borough is considered to be in flood-risk zones.[133]
On October 31, 2017, a terrorist took a rental pickup truck and deliberately drove down a bike path alongside the West Side Highway in Lower Manhattan, killing eight people and injuring a dozen others before crashing into a school bus.[134]
GeographySee also: Geography of New York City
Satellite image of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson River to the west, the Harlem River to the north, the East River to the east, and New York Harbor to the south, with rectangular Central Park prominently visible. Roosevelt Island, in the East River, belongs to Manhattan.
Location of Manhattan (red) within New York City (remainder yellow)
USGS Central Park map, covering part of Manhattan (2019)ComponentsThe borough consists of Manhattan Island, Marble Hill, and several small islands, including Randalls Island and Wards Island, and Roosevelt Island in the East River, and Governors Island and Liberty Island to the south in New York Harbor.[135]
According to the United States Census Bureau, New York County has a total area of 33.6 square miles (87 km2), of which 22.8 square miles (59 km2) is land and 10.8 square miles (28 km2) (32%) is water.[2] The northern segment of Upper Manhattan represents a geographic panhandle. Manhattan Island is 22.7 square miles (59 km2) in area, 13.4 miles (21.6 km) long and 2.3 miles (3.7 km) wide, at its widest (near 14th Street).[136] Icebergs are often compared in size to the area of Manhattan.[137][138][139]
Manhattan IslandManhattan Island is loosely divided into Downtown (Lower Manhattan), Midtown (Midtown Manhattan), and Uptown (Upper Manhattan), with Fifth Avenue dividing Manhattan lengthwise into its East Side and West Side. Manhattan Island is bounded by the Hudson River to the west and the East River to the east. To the north, the Harlem River divides Manhattan Island from the Bronx and the mainland United States.
Early in the 19th century, landfill was used to expand Lower Manhattan from the natural Hudson shoreline at Greenwich Street to West Street.[140] When building the World Trade Center in 1968, 1.2 million cubic yards (917,000 m3) of material was excavated from the site.[141] Rather than dumping the spoil at sea or in landfills, the fill material was used to expand the Manhattan shoreline across West Street, creating Battery Park City.[142] The result was a 700-foot (210 m) extension into the river, running six blocks or 1,484 feet (452 m), covering 92 acres (37 ha), providing a 1.2-mile (1.9 km) riverfront esplanade and over 30 acres (12 ha) of parks;[143] Hudson River Park was subsequently opened in stages beginning in 1998.[144] Little Island opened on the Hudson River in May 2021, connected to the western termini of 13th and 14th Streets by footbridges.[145]
Marble HillOne neighborhood of New York County, Marble Hill, is contiguous with the U.S. mainland. Marble Hill at one time was part of Manhattan Island, but the Harlem River Ship Canal, dug in 1895 to improve navigation on the Harlem River, separated it from the remainder of Manhattan as an island between the Bronx and the remainder of Manhattan.[146] Before World War I, the section of the original Harlem River channel separating Marble Hill from the Bronx was filled in, and Marble Hill became part of the mainland.[147]
Marble Hill is one example of how Manhattan's land has been considerably altered by human intervention. The borough has seen substantial land reclamation along its waterfronts since Dutch colonial times, and much of the natural variation in its topography has been evened out.[57]
Smaller islandsSee also: List of smaller islands in New York CityWithin New York Harbor, there are three smaller islands:
Ellis Island, shared with New JerseyGovernors IslandLiberty IslandOther smaller islands, in the East River, include (from north to south):
Randalls and Wards Islands, joined by landfillMill RockRoosevelt IslandU Thant Island (legally Belmont Island)GeologyBedrock
Manhattan schist outcropping in Central ParkThe bedrock underlying much of Manhattan is a mica schist known as Manhattan schist[148] of the Manhattan Prong physiographic region. It is a strong, competent metamorphic rock that was created when Pangaea formed. It is well suited for the foundations of tall buildings. In Central Park, outcrops of Manhattan schist occur and Rat Rock is one rather large a predominant feature of the substrata of Manhattan is that the underlying bedrock base of the island rises considerably closer to the surface near Midtown Manhattan, dips down lower between 29th Street and Canal Street, then rises toward the surface again in Lower Manhattan. It has been widely believed that the depth to bedrock was the primary underlying reason for the clustering of skyscrapers in the Midtown and Financial District areas, and their absence over the intervening territory between these two areas.[152][153] However, research has shown that economic factors played a bigger part in the locations of these skyscrapers.[154][155][156]
Updated seismic analysisAccording to the United States Geological Survey, an updated analysis of seismic hazard in July 2014 revealed a "slightly lower hazard for tall buildings" in Manhattan than previously assessed. Scientists estimated this lessened risk based upon a lower likelihood than previously thought of slow shaking near New York City, which would be more likely to cause damage to taller structures from an earthquake in the vicinity of the city.[157]
LocationsA tall green statue on an island in a harbor.Liberty Island is an exclave of Manhattan, of New York City, and of New York state, that is surrounded by New Jersey waters.Adjacent countiesBergen County, New Jersey—west and northwestHudson County, New Jersey—west and southwestBronx County (The Bronx)—north and northeastQueens County (Queens)—eastKings County (Brooklyn)—south and southeastRichmond County (Staten Island)—southwestNational protected areasAfrican Burial Ground National MonumentCastle Clinton National MonumentFederal Hall National MemorialGeneral Grant National MemorialGovernors Island National MonumentHamilton Grange National MemorialLower East Side Tenement National Historic SiteStatue of Liberty National Monument (part)Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic SiteNeighborhoodsMain articles: Neighborhoods in New York City and List of Manhattan neighborhoodsManhattan's many neighborhoods are not named according to any particular convention, nor do they have official boundaries. Some are geographical (the Upper East Side), or ethnically descriptive (Little Italy). Others are acronyms, such as TriBeCa (for "TRIangle BElow CAnal Street") or SoHo ("SOuth of HOuston"), or the far more recent vintages NoLIta ("NOrth of Little ITAly").[158][159] and NoMad ("NOrth of MADison Square Park").[160][161][162] Harlem is a name from the Dutch colonial era after Haarlem, a city in the Netherlands.[163] Alphabet City comprises Avenues A, B, C, and D, to which its name refers. Some have simple folkloric names, such as Hell's Kitchen, alongside their more official but lesser used title (in this case, Clinton).The Empire State Building in the foreground looking southward from the top of Rockefeller Center, with One World Trade Center in the background, at sunset. The Midtown South Community Council acts as a civic caretaker for much of the neighborhood between the skyscrapers of Midtown and Lower Manhattan.Some neighborhoods, such as SoHo, which is mixed use, are known for upscale shopping as well as residential use. Others, such as Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, Alphabet City and the East Village, have long been associated with the Bohemian subculture.[164] Chelsea is one of several Manhattan neighborhoods with large gay populations and has become a center of both the international art industry and New York's nightlife.[165] Chinatown has the highest concentration of people of Chinese descent outside of Asia.[166][167] Koreatown is roughly bounded by 6th and Madison Avenues,[168][169][170] between 31st and 33rd Streets, where Hangul signage is ubiquitous. Rose Hill features a growing number of Indian restaurants and spice shops along a stretch of Lexington Avenue between 25th and 30th Streets which has become known as Curry Hill.[171] Washington Heights in Uptown Manhattan is home to the largest Dominican immigrant community in the United States.[172] Harlem, also in Upper Manhattan, is the historical epicenter of African American culture. Since 2010, a Little Australia has emerged and is growing in Nolita, Lower Manhattan.[173]
In Manhattan, uptown means north (more precisely north-northeast, which is the direction the island and its street grid system are oriented) and downtown means south (south-southwest).[174] This usage differs from that of most American cities, where downtown refers to the central business district. Manhattan has two central business districts, the Financial District at the southern tip of the island, and Midtown Manhattan. The term uptown also refers to the northern part of Manhattan above 72nd Street and downtown to the southern portion below 14th Street,[175] with Midtown covering the area in between, though definitions can be rather fluid depending on the situation.
Fifth Avenue roughly bisects Manhattan Island and acts as the demarcation line for east/west designations (e.g., East 27th Street, West 42nd Street); street addresses start at Fifth Avenue and increase heading away from Fifth Avenue, at a rate of 100 per block on most streets.[175] South of Waverly Place, Fifth Avenue terminates and Broadway becomes the east/west demarcation line. Although the grid does start with 1st Street, just north of Houston Street (the southernmost street divided in west and east portions; pronounced HOW-stin), the grid does not fully take hold until north of 14th Street, where nearly all east–west streets are numerically identified, which increase from south to north to 220th Street, the highest numbered street on the island. Streets in Midtown are usually one-way, with the few exceptions generally being the busiest cross-town thoroughfares (14th, 23rd, 34th, and 42nd Streets, for example), which are offerirectional across the width of Manhattan Island. The rule of thumb is that odd-numbered streets run west, while even-numbered streets run east.[136]
Central Park in autumnUnder the Köppen climate classification, using the 0 °C (32 °F) isotherm, New York City features both a humid subtropical climate (Cfa) and a humid continental climate (Dfa);[176] it is the northernmost major city on the North American continent with a humid subtropical climate. The city averages 234 days with at least some sunshine annually.[177] The city lies in the USDA 7b plant hardiness zone.[178]
Winters are cold and damp, and prevailing wind patterns that blow offshore temper the moderating effects of the Atlantic Ocean; yet the Atlantic and the partial shielding from colder air by the Appalachians keep the city warmer in the winter than inland North American cities at similar or lesser latitudes such as Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis. The daily mean temperature in January, the area's coldest month, is 32.6 °F (0.3 °C);[179] temperatures usually drop to 10 °F (−12 °C) several times per winter,[179][180] and reach 60 °F (16 °C) several days in the coldest winter month.[179] Spring and autumn are unpredictable and can range from chilly to warm, although they are usually mild with low humidity. Summers are typically warm to hot and humid, with a daily mean temperature of 76.5 °F (24.7 °C) in July.[179] Nighttime conditions are often exacerbated by the urban heat island phenomenon, while daytime temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on average of 17 days each summer[181] and in some years exceed 100 °F (38 °C). Extreme temperatures have ranged from −15 °F (−26 °C), recorded on February 9, 1934, up to 106 °F (41 °C) on July 9, 1936.[181]
Summer evening temperatures are elevated by the urban heat island effect, which causes heat absorbed during the day to be radiated back at night, raising temperatures by as much as 7 °F (4 °C) when winds are slow.[182] Manhattan receives 49.9 inches (1,270 mm) of precipitation annually, which is relatively evenly spread throughout the year. Average winter snowfall between 1981 and 2010 has been 25.8 inches (66 cm); this varies considerably from year to year.[181] Governors Island in New York Harbor is planned to host a US$1 billion research and education center with the intention of making New York City the global leader in addressing the climate crisis.[54]
vteClimate data for New York (Belvedere Castle, Central Park), 1991–2020 normals,[b] extremes 1869–present[c]MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYearRecord high °F (°C)72(22)78(26)86(30)96(36)99(37)101(38)106(41)104(40)102(39)94(34)84(29)75(24)106(41)Mean maximum °F (°C)60.4(15.8)60.7(15.9)70.3(21.3)82.9(28.3)88.5(31.4)92.1(33.4)95.7(35.4)93.4(34.1)89.0(31.7)79.7(26.5)70.7(21.5)62.9(17.2)97.0(36.1)Average high °F (°C)39.5(4.2)42.2(5.7)49.9(9.9)61.8(16.6)71.4(21.9)79.7(26.5)84.9(29.4)83.3(28.5)76.2(24.6)64.5(18.1)54.0(12.2)44.3(6.8)62.6(17.0)Daily mean °F (°C)33.7(0.9)35.9(2.2)42.8(6.0)53.7(12.1)63.2(17.3)72.0(22.2)77.5(25.3)76.1(24.5)69.2(20.7)57.9(14.4)48.0(8.9)39.1(3.9)55.8(13.2)Average low °F (°C)27.9(−2.3)29.5(−1.4)35.8(2.1)45.5(7.5)55.0(12.8)64.4(18.0)70.1(21.2)68.9(20.5)62.3(16.8)51.4(10.8)42.0(5.6)33.8(1.0)48.9(9.4)Mean minimum °F (°C)9.8(−12.3)12.7(−10.7)19.7(−6.8)32.8(0.4)43.9(6.6)52.7(11.5)61.8(16.6)60.3(15.7)50.2(10.1)38.4(3.6)27.7(−2.4)18.0(−7.8)7.7(−13.5)Record low °F (°C)−6(−21)−15(−26)3(−16)12(−11)32(0)44(7)52(11)50(10)39(4)28(−2)5(−15)−13(−25)−15(−26)Average precipitation inches (mm)3.64(92)3.19(81)4.29(109)4.09(104)3.96(101)4.54(115)4.60(117)4.56(116)4.31(109)4.38(111)3.58(91)4.38(111)49.52(1,258)Average snowfall inches (cm)8.8(22)10.1(26)5.0(13)0.4(1.0)0.0(0.0)0.0(0.0)0.0(0.0)0.0(0.0)0.0(0.0)0.1(0.25)0.5(1.3)4.9(12)29.8(76)Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)10.810.011.111.411.511.210.510. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) relative humidity (%)61.560.258.555.362.765. dew point °F (°C)18.0(−7.8)19.0(−7.2)25.9(−3.4)34.0(1.1)47.3(8.5)57.4(14.1)61.9(16.6)62.1(16.7)55.6(13.1)44.1(6.7)34.0(1.1)24.6(−4.1)40.3(4.6)Mean monthly sunshine hours162.7163.1212.5225.6256.6257.3268.2268.2219.3211.2151.0139.02,534.7Percent possible sunshine54555757575759635961514857Average ultraviolet index2346788864215Source 1: NOAA (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990; dew point 1965–1984)[181][179][177][184]Source 2: Weather Atlas[185]See Climate of New York City for additional climate information from the outer boroughs.
Sea temperature data for New YorkMonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYearAverage sea temperature °F (°C)41.7(5.4)39.7(4.3)40.2(4.5)45.1(7.3)52.5(11.4)64.5(18.1)72.1(22.3)74.1(23.4)70.1(21.2)63.0(17.2)54.3(12.4)47.2(8.4)55.4(13.0)Source: Weather Atlas[185]Boroughscape
Ten-mile Manhattan skyline panorama from 120th Street to the Battery, taken February 21, 2018, from across the Hudson River in Weehawken, New Jersey.Riverside ChurchTime Warner Center220 Central Park SouthCentral Park TowerOne57432 Park Avenue53W53Chrysler BuildingBank of America TowerConde Nast BuildingThe New York Times BuildingEmpire State BuildingManhattan Westa: 55 Hudson Yards, b: 35 Hudson Yards, c: 10 Hudson Yards, d: 15 Hudson Yards56 Leonard Street8 Spruce StreetWoolworth Building70 Pine Street30 Park Place40 Wall StreetThree World Trade CenterFour World Trade CenterOne World Trade CenterDemographicsLooking at crowds down BroadwayLooking down Broadway in Midtown Manhattan. As of the 2020 U.S. census, Manhattan was home to 74,870.7 inhabitants per square mile (28,907.7/km2), rendering it the most densely populated municipality in the United States.Main article: Demographics of ManhattanSee also: Demographics of New York CityIn 2020, 1,694,251 people lived in Manhattan. At the 2010 U.S. census, there were 1,585,873 people living in Manhattan, an increase of 3.2% since 2000. Since 2010, Manhattan's population was estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau to have increased 2.7% to 1,628,706 as of 2018, representing 19.5% of New York City's population of 8,336,817 and 8.4% of New York State's population of 19,745,289.[35][186]
Racial composition2020[187]2010[188]2000[189]1990[190]1950[190]1900[190]White50.0%57.4%54.3%58.3%79.4%97.8%—Non-Hispanic46.8%48%45.7%48.9%n/an/aBlack or African American13.5%15.6%17.3%22.0%19.6%2.0%Hispanic or Latino (of any race)23.8%25.4%27.1%26.0%n/an/aAsian13.1%11.3%9.4%7.4%0.8%0.3%
Ethnic origins in ManhattanNew York City's five boroughsvteJurisdictionPopulationLand areaDensity of populationGDP †BoroughCountyCensus(2020)squaremilessquarekmpeople/sq. milepeople/sq. kmbillions(2012 US$) 2The BronxBronx1,472,65442.2109.334,92013,482$38.726BrooklynKings2,736,07469.4179.739,43815,227$92.300ManhattanNew York1,694,25122.758.874,78128,872$651.619QueensQueens2,405,464108.7281.522,1258,542$88.578Staten IslandRichmond495,74757.5148.98,6183,327$14.806City of New York8,804,190302.6783.829,09511,234$885.958State of New York20,215,75147,126.4122,056.8429166$1,514.779† GDP = Gross Domestic Product Sources:[191][192][193][194] and see individual borough articles.As of the 2020 U.S. Census, the population density of New York County was 74,870.7 inhabitants per square mile (28,907.7/km2), the highest population density of any county in the United States.[35] In 1910, at the height of European immigration to New York, Manhattan's population density reached a peak of 101,548 people per square mile (39,208 people/km2).[35][186]
Historical populationYearPop.±%16561,000— 16984,937+393.7%17125,841+18.3%17237,248+24.1%17318,622+19.0%174611,717+35.9%175613,040+11.3%177121,863+67.7%178623,614+8.0%179033,131+40.3%180060,489+82.6%181096,373+59.3%1820123,706+28.4%1830202,589+63.8%1840312,710+54.4%1850515,547+64.9%1860813,669+57.8%1870942,292+15.8%18801,164,674+23.6%18901,441,216+23.7%19001,850,093+28.4%19102,331,542+26.0%19202,284,103−2.0%19301,867,312−18.2%19401,889,924+1.2%19501,960,101+3.7%19601,698,281−13.4%19701,539,233−9.4%19801,428,285−7.2%19901,487,536+4.1%20001,537,195+3.3%20101,585,873+3.2%20201,694,251+6.8%Sources:[35][195][196][5]Manhattan is one of the highest-income places in the United States with a population greater than one million. As of 2012, Manhattan's cost of living was the highest in the United States.[197] Manhattan is also the United States county with the highest per capita income, being the sole county whose per capita income exceeded $100,000 in 2010.[198] However, from 2011–2015 Census data of New York County, the per capita income was recorded in 2015 dollars as $64,993, with the median household income at $72,871, and poverty at 17.6%.[199] In 2012, The New York Times reported that inequality was higher than in most developing countries, stating, "The wealthiest fifth of Manhattanites made more than 40 times what the lowest fifth reported, a widening gap (it was 38 times, the year before) surpassed by only a few developing countries".[200]
ReligionIn 2010, the largest organized religious group in Manhattan was the Archdiocese of New York, with 323,325 Catholics worshipping at 109 parishes, followed by 64,000 Orthodox Jews with 77 congregations, an estimated 42,545 Muslims with 21 congregations, 42,502 non-denominational adherents with 54 congregations, 26,178 TEC Episcopalians with 46 congregations, 25,048 ABC-USA Baptists with 41 congregations, 24,536 Reform Jews with 10 congregations, 23,982 Mahayana Buddhists with 35 congregations, 10,503 PC-USA Presbyterians with 30 congregations, and 10,268 RCA Presbyterians with 10 congregations. Altogether, 44.0% of the population was claimed as members by religious congregations, although members of historically African-American denominations were underrepresented due to incomplete information.[201] In 2014, Manhattan had 703 religious organizations, the seventeenth most out of all US counties.[202] There is a large Buddhist temple in Manhattan located at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown.[203]
LanguagesAs of 2010, 59.98% (902,267) of Manhattan residents, aged five and older, spoke only English at home, while 23.07% (347,033) spoke Spanish, 5.33% (80,240) Chinese, 2.03% (30,567) French, 0.78% (11,776) Japanese, 0.77% (11,517) Russian, 0.72% (10,788) Korean, 0.70% (10,496) German, 0.66% (9,868) Italian, 0.64% (9,555) Hebrew, and 0.48% (7,158) spoke African languages at home. In total, 40.02% (602,058) of Manhattan's population, aged five and older, spoke a language other than English at home.[204]
As of 2015, 60.0% (927,650) of Manhattan residents, aged five and older, spoke only English at home, while 22.63% (350,112) spoke Spanish, 5.37% (83,013) Chinese, 2.21% (34,246) French, 0.85% (13,138) Korean, 0.72% (11,135) Russian, and 0.70% (10,766) Japanese. In total, 40.0% of Manhattan's population, aged five and older, spoke a language other than English at home.[205]
Landmarks and architectureMain article: Architecture of New York CitySee also: List of skyscrapers in New York City
The Estonian House, the main center of Estonian culture amongst Estonian AmericansPoints of interest on Manhattan Island include the American Museum of Natural History; the Battery; Broadway and the Theater District; Bryant Park; Central Park, Chinatown; the Chrysler Building; The Cloisters; Columbia University; Curry Hill; the Empire State Building; Flatiron Building; the Financial District (including the New York Stock Exchange Building; Wall Street; and the South Street Seaport); Grand Central Terminal; Greenwich Village (including New York University; Washington Square Arch; and Stonewall Inn); Harlem and Spanish Harlem; the High Line; Koreatown; Lincoln Center; Little Australia; Little Italy; Madison Square Garden; Museum Mile on Fifth Avenue (including the Metropolitan Museum of Art); Penn Station, Port Authority Bus Terminal; Rockefeller Center (including Radio City Music Hall); Times Square; and the World Trade Center (including the National September 11 Museum and One World Trade Center).
There are also numerous iconic bridges across rivers that connect to Manhattan Island, as well as an emerging number of supertall skyscrapers. The Statue of Liberty rests on a pedestal on Liberty Island, an exclave of Manhattan, and part of Ellis Island is also an exclave of Manhattan. The borough has many energy-efficient, Environmentally friendly office buildings, such as the Hearst Tower, the rebuilt 7 World Trade Center,[206] and the Bank of America Tower—the first skyscraper designed to attain a Platinum LEED history
A. T. Stewart in 1870, 9th Street, Manhattan
Many tall buildings have setbacks on their facade due to the 1916 Zoning Resolution. This is exemplified at Park Avenue and 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan.The skyscraper, which has shaped Manhattan's distinctive skyline, has been closely associated with New York City's identity since the end of the 19th century. From 1890 to 1973, the title of world's tallest building resided continually in Manhattan (with a gap between 1894 and 1908, when the title was held by Philadelphia City Hall), with eight different buildings holding the title.[209] The New York World Building on Park Row, was the first to take the title in 1890, standing 309 feet (94 m) until 1955, when it was demolished to construct a new ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge.[210] The nearby Park Row Building, with its 29 stories standing 391 feet (119 m) high, became the world's tallest office building when it opened in 1899.[211] The 41-story Singer Building, constructed in 1908 as the headquarters of the eponymous sewing machine manufacturer, stood 612 feet (187 m) high until 1967, when it became the tallest building ever demolished.[212] The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, standing 700 feet (210 m) at the foot of Madison Avenue, wrested the title in 1909, with a tower reminiscent of St Mark's Campanile in Venice.[213] The Woolworth Building, and its distinctive Gothic architecture, took the title in 1913, topping off at 792 feet (241 m).[214] Structures such as the Equitable Building of 1915, which rises vertically forty stories from the sidewalk, prompted the passage of the 1916 Zoning Resolution, requiring new buildings to contain setbacks withdrawing progressively at a defined angle from the street as they rose, in order to preserve a view of the sky at street level.[215]
The Roaring Twenties saw a race to the sky, with three separate buildings pursuing the world's tallest title in the span of a year. As the stock market soared in the days before the Wall Street Crash of 1929, two developers publicly competed for the crown.[216] At 927 feet (283 m), 40 Wall Street, completed in May 1930 in only eleven months as the headquarters of the Bank of Manhattan, seemed to have secured the title.[217] At Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street, auto executive Walter Chrysler and his architect William Van Alen developed plans to build the structure's trademark 185-foot (56 m) spire in secret, pushing the Chrysler Building to 1,046 feet (319 m) and making it the tallest in the world when it was completed in 1929.[218] Both buildings were soon surpassed with the May 1931 completion of the 102-story Empire State Building with its Art Deco tower reaching 1,250 feet (380 m) at the top of the building. The 203-foot (62 m) high pinnacle was later added bringing the total height of the building to 1,453 ft (443 m).[219][220]
The former Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were located in Lower Manhattan. At 1,368 and 1,362 feet (417 and 415 m), the 110-story buildings were the world's tallest from 1972 until they were surpassed by the construction of the Willis Tower in 1974 (formerly known as the Sears Tower, located in Chicago).[221] One World Trade Center, a replacement for the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, is currently the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.[222]
In 1961, the Pennsylvania Railroad unveiled plans to tear down the old Penn Station and replace it with a new Madison Square Garden and office building complex. Organized protests were aimed at preserving the McKim, Mead & White-designed structure completed in 1910, widely considered a masterpiece of the Beaux-Arts style and one of the architectural jewels of New York City.[223] Despite these efforts, demolition of the structure began in October 1963. The loss of Penn Station—called "an act of irresponsible public vandalism" by historian Lewis Mumford—led directly to the enactment in 1965 of a local law establishing the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, which is responsible for preserving the "city's historic, aesthetic, and cultural heritage".[224] The historic preservation movement triggered by Penn Station's demise has been credited with the retention of some one million structures nationwide, including over 1,000 in New York City.[225] In 2017, a multibillion-dollar rebuilding plan was unveiled to restore the historic grandeur of Penn Station, in the process of upgrading the landmark's status as a critical transportation hub.[226]
ParklandParkland composes 17.8% of the borough, covering a total of 2,686 acres (10.87 km2). The 843-acre (3.41 km2) Central Park, the largest park comprising 30% of Manhattan's parkland, is bordered on the north by West 110th Street (Central Park North), on the west by Eighth Avenue (Central Park West), on the south by West 59th Street (Central Park South), and on the east by Fifth Avenue. Central Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, offers extensive walking tracks, two ice-skating rinks, a wildlife sanctuary, and several lawns and sporting areas, as well as 21 playgrounds and a 6-mile (9.7 km) road from which automobile traffic is banned.[227] While much of the park looks natural, it is almost entirely landscaped, and the construction of Central Park in the 1850s was one of the era's most massive public works projects, with some 20,000 workers crafting the topography to create the English-style pastoral landscape Olmsted and Vaux sought to create.[228]
The remaining 70% of Manhattan's parkland includes 204 playgrounds, 251 Greenstreets, 371 basketball courts, and many other amenities.[229] The next-largest park in Manhattan, the Hudson River Park, stretches 4.5 miles (7.2 km) on the Hudson River and comprises 550 acres (220 ha).[230] Other major parks include:[231]
Bowling GreenBryant ParkCity Hall ParkDeWitt Clinton ParkEast River GreenwayFort Tryon ParkFort Washington ParkHarlem River ParkHolcombe Rucker ParkImagination PlaygroundInwood Hill ParkIsham ParkJ. Hood Wright ParkJackie Robinson ParkMadison Square ParkMarcus Garvey ParkMorningside ParkRandall's Island ParkRiverside ParkSara D. Roosevelt ParkSeward ParkSt. Nicholas ParkStuyvesant SquareThe BatteryThe High LineThomas Jefferson ParkTompkins Square ParkUnion Square ParkWashington Square ParkEconomyMain article: Economy of New York City
The New York Stock Exchange, by a significant margin the world's largest stock exchange per market capitalization of its listed companies,[232][233] at US$23.1 trillion as of April 2018.[234]Manhattan is the economic engine of New York City, with its 2.3 million workers in 2007 drawn from the entire New York metropolitan area accounting for almost two-thirds of all jobs in New York City.[235] In the first quarter of 2014, the average weekly wage in Manhattan (New York County) was $2,749, representing the highest total among large counties in the United States.[236] Manhattan's workforce is overwhelmingly focused on white collar professions, with manufacturing nearly extinct. Manhattan also has the highest per capita income of any county in the United States.
In 2010, Manhattan's daytime population was swelling to 3.94 million, with commuters adding a net 1.48 million people to the population, along with visitors, tourists, and commuting students. The commuter influx of 1.61 million workers coming into Manhattan was the largest of any county or city in the country,[237] and was more than triple the 480,000 commuters who headed into second-ranked Washington, D.C.[238]
Financial sectorMain article: Wall Street
The Financial District of Lower Manhattan, seen from BrooklynManhattan's most important economic sector lies in its role as the headquarters for the U.S. financial industry, metonymously known as Wall Street. Manhattan is home to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), at 11 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, and the Nasdaq, now located at 4 Times Square in Midtown Manhattan, representing the world's largest and second-largest stock exchanges, respectively, when measured both by overall share trading value and by total market capitalization of their listed companies in 2013.[23] The NYSE American (formerly the American Stock Exchange, AMEX), New York Board of Trade, and the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) are also located downtown. Financial technology (fintech) and cryptocurrency have emerged as more recent constituents of the financial sector as well as the tech sector.
Corporate sector
Manhattan contains over 520 million square feet (48,000,000 m2) of office space. The COVID-19 pandemic and hybrid work model have prompted consideration of commercial-to-residential conversion within the borough's real estate sector.[239]New York City is home to the most corporate headquarters of any city in the United States, the overwhelming majority based in Manhattan.[240] Manhattan contained over 520 million square feet (48.3 million m2) of office space in 2022,[241] making it the largest office market in the United States; while Midtown Manhattan, with over 400 million square feet (37.2 million m2) is the largest central business district in the world.[242] New York City's role as the top global center for the advertising industry is metonymously reflected as "Madison Avenue".
Tech and biotechFurther information: Tech companies in Manhattan, Biotech companies in Manhattan, Silicon Alley, and Tech:NYC
The Flatiron District is the center and birthplace of Silicon Alley.[243]Silicon Alley, centered in Manhattan, has evolved into a metonym for the sphere encompassing the New York City metropolitan region's high tech industries,[244] including the Internet, new media, telecommunications, digital media, software development, biotechnology, game design, financial technology (fintech) and cryptocurrency blockchain technology, and other fields within information technology that are supported by the area's entrepreneurship ecosystem and venture capital investments. As of 2014, New York City hosted 300,000 employees in the tech sector.[245][246] In 2015, Silicon Alley generated over US$7.3 billion in venture capital investment,[247] most based in Manhattan, as well as in Brooklyn, Queens, and elsewhere in the region. High technology startup companies and employment are growing in Manhattan and across New York City, bolstered by the city's emergence as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship,[247] social tolerance,[248] and Environmental sustainability,[249][250] as well as New York's position as the leading Internet hub and telecommunications center in North America, including its vicinity to several transatlantic fiber optic trunk lines, the city's intellectual capital, and its extensive outdoor wireless connectivity.[251] Verizon Communications, headquartered at 140 West Street in Lower Manhattan, was at the final stages in 2014 of completing a US$3 billion fiberoptic telecommunications upgrade throughout New York City.[252] As of October 2014, New York City hosted 300,000 employees in the tech sector,[246] with a significant proportion in Manhattan. The technology sector has been expanding across Manhattan since 2010.[253]
The biotechnology sector is also growing in Manhattan based upon the city's strength in academic scientific research and public and commercial financial support. By mid-2014, Accelerator, a biotech investment firm, had raised more than US$30 million from investors, including Eli Lilly and Company, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson, for initial funding to create biotechnology startups at the Alexandria Center for Life Science, which encompasses more than 700,000 square feet (65,000 m2) on East 29th Street and promotes collaboration among scientists and entrepreneurs at the center and with nearby academic, medical, and research institutions. The New York City Economic Development Corporation's Early Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative and venture capital partners, including Celgene, General Electric Ventures, and Eli Lilly, committed a minimum of US$100 million to help launch 15 to 20 ventures in life sciences and biotechnology.[254] In 2011, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg had announced his choice of Cornell University and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology to build a US$2 billion graduate school of applied sciences on Roosevelt Island, Manhattan, with the goal of transforming New York City into the world's premier technology capital.[255][256]
TourismMain article: Tourism in New York City
Times Square is the hub of the Broadway theater district and a major cultural venue in Manhattan, it also has one of the highest annual attendance rates of any tourist attraction in the world, estimated at 50 million.[41]Tourism is vital to Manhattan's economy, and the landmarks of Manhattan are the focus of New York City's tourists, enumerating an eighth consecutive annual record of approximately 62.8 million visitors in 2017.[40] According to The Broadway League, for the 2018–2019 season (which ended May 26, 2019) total attendance was 14,768,254 and Broadway shows had US$1,829,312,140 in grosses, with attendance up 9.5%, grosses up 10.3%, and playing weeks up 9.3%.[257]
Real estateReal estate is a major force in Manhattan's economy. Manhattan has perennially been home to some of the nation's, as well as the world's, most valuable real estate, including the Time Warner Center, which had the highest-listed market value in the city in 2006 at US$1.1 billion,[258] to be subsequently surpassed in October 2014 by the Waldorf Astoria New York, which became the most expensive hotel ever sold after being purchased by the Anbang Insurance Group, based in China, for US$1.95 billion.[259] When 450 Park Avenue was sold on July 2, 2007, for US$510 million, about US$1,589 per square foot (US$17,104/m²), it broke the barely month-old record for an American office building of US$1,476 per square foot (US$15,887/m²) based on the sale of 660 Madison Avenue.[260] In 2014, Manhattan was home to six of the top ten zip codes in the United States by median housing price.[261] In 2019, the most expensive home sale ever in the United States occurred in Manhattan, at a selling price of US$238 million, for a 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2) penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park,[262] while Central Park Tower, topped out at 1,550 feet (472 m) in 2019, is the world's tallest residential building, followed globally in height by 111 West 57th Street and 432 Park Avenue, both also located in Midtown Manhattan.
Manhattan had approximately 520 million square feet (48.1 million m²) of office space in 2013,[263] making it the largest office market in the United States.[264] Midtown Manhattan is the largest central business district in the nation based on office space,[265] while Lower Manhattan is the third-largest (after Chicago's Loop).[266][267]
As of the fourth quarter of 2021, the median value of homes in Manhattan was $1,306,208. It ranked second among US counties for highest median home value at the time, second to Nantucket.[268]
MediaMain articles: Media in New York City and New Yorkers in journalismManhattan has been described as the media capital of the world.[269][270] An integral component of this status is the significant array of media outlets and their journalists who report about international, American, business, entertainment, and New York metropolitan area-related matters from Manhattan.
The New York Times headquarters, 620 Eighth AvenueManhattan is served by the major New York City daily news publications, including The New York Times, which has won the most Pulitzer Prizes for journalism and is considered the U.S. media's "newspaper of record";[271] the New York Daily News; and the New York Post, which are all headquartered in the borough. The nation's largest newspaper by circulation, The Wall Street Journal, is also based in Manhattan. Other daily newspapers include AM New York and The Villager. The New York Amsterdam News, based in Harlem, is one of the leading Black-owned weekly newspapers in the United States. The Village Voice, historically the largest alternative newspaper in the United States, announced in 2017 that it would cease publication of its print edition and convert to a fully digital venture.[272]
Television, radio, filmSee also: List of films set in New York City and List of television shows set in New York CityThe television industry developed in Manhattan and is a significant employer in the borough's economy. The four major American broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, as well as Univision, are all headquartered in Manhattan, as are many cable channels, including CNN, MSNBC, MTV, Fox News, HBO, and Comedy Central. In 1971, WLIB became New York City's first Black-owned radio station and began broadcasts geared toward the African-American community in 1949. WQHT, also known as Hot 97, claims to be the premier hip-hop station in the United States. WNYC, comprising an AM and FM signal, has the largest public radio audience in the nation and is the most-listened to commercial or non-commercial radio station in Manhattan.[273] WBAI, with news and information programming, is one of the few socialist radio stations operating in the United States.
The oldest public-access television cable TV channel in the United States is the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, founded in 1971, offers eclectic local programming that ranges from a jazz hour to discussion of labor issues to foreign language and religious programming.[274] NY1, Time Warner Cable's local news channel, is known for its beat coverage of City Hall and state politics.
EducationSee also: Education in New York City, List of high schools in New York City, and List of colleges and universities in New York City
Butler Library at Columbia University, with its notable architectural design[275]Education in Manhattan is provided by a vast number of public and private institutions. Non-charter public schools in the borough are operated by the New York City Department of Education,[276] the largest public school system in the United States. Charter schools include Success Academy Harlem 1 through 5, Success Academy Upper West, and Public Prep.
Some notable New York City public high schools are located in Manhattan, including A. Philip Randolph Campus High School, Beacon High School, Stuyvesant High School, Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, High School of Fashion Industries, Eleanor Roosevelt High School, NYC Lab School, Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, Hunter College High School, and High School for Math, Science and Engineering at City College. Bard High School Early College, a hybrid school created by Bard College, serves students from around the city.
Many private preparatory schools are also situated in Manhattan, including the Upper East Side's Brearley School, Dalton School, Browning School, Spence School, Chapin School, Nightingale-Bamford School, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Hewitt School, Saint David's School, Loyola School, and Regis High School. The Upper West Side is home to the Collegiate School and Trinity School. The borough is also home to Manhattan Country School, Trevor Day School, Xavier High School and the United Nations International School.Stuyvesant High School, in Tribeca[277]Based on data from the 2011–2015 American Community Survey, 59.9% of Manhattan residents over age 25 have a bachelor's degree.[278] As of 2005, about 60% of residents were college graduates and some 25% had earned advanced degrees, giving Manhattan one of the nation's densest concentrations of highly educated people.[279]
Manhattan has various colleges and universities, including Columbia University (and its affiliate Barnard College), Cooper Union, Marymount Manhattan College, New York Institute of Technology, New York University (NYU), The Juilliard School, Pace University, Berkeley College, The New School, Yeshiva University, and a campus of Fordham University. Other schools include Bank Street College of Education, Boricua College, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, Manhattan School of Music, Metropolitan College of New York, Parsons School of Design, School of Visual Arts, Touro College, and Union Theological Seminary. Several other private institutions maintain a Manhattan presence, among them Mercy College, St. John's University, Adelphi University, The King's College, and Pratt Institute. Cornell Tech is developing on Roosevelt Island.New York Public Library Main Branch at 42nd Street and Fifth AvenueThe City University of New York (CUNY), the municipal college system of New York City, is the largest urban university system in the United States, serving more than 226,000 degree students and a roughly equal number of adult, continuing and professional education students.[280] A third of college graduates in New York City graduate from CUNY, with the institution enrolling about half of all college students in New York City. CUNY senior colleges located in Manhattan include: Baruch College, City College of New York, Hunter College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the CUNY Graduate Center (graduate studies and doctorate granting institution). The only CUNY community college located in Manhattan is the Borough of Manhattan Community College. The State University of New York is represented by the Fashion Institute of Technology, State University of New York State College of Optometry, and Stony Brook University – Manhattan.
Manhattan is a world center for training and education in medicine and the life sciences.[281] The city as a whole receives the second-highest amount of annual funding from the National Institutes of Health among all U.S. cities,[282] the bulk of which goes to Manhattan's research institutions, including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Weill Cornell Medical College, and New York University School of Medicine.
Manhattan is served by the New York Public Library, which has the largest collection of any public library system in the country.[283] The five units of the Central Library—Mid-Manhattan Library, 53rd Street Library, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library, and the Science, Industry and Business Library—are all located in Manhattan.[284] More than 35 other branch libraries are located in the borough.[285]
CultureSee also: Culture of New York CityFurther information: Broadway theatre, LGBT culture in New York City, Stonewall Riots, NYC Pride March, List of LGBT people from New York City, List of museums and cultural institutions in New York City, Music of New York City, New York Fashion Week, and Met Gala
Lincoln Center for the Performing ArtsManhattan is the borough most closely associated with New York City by non-residents; regionally, residents within the New York City metropolitan area, including natives of New York City's boroughs outside Manhattan, will often describe a trip to Manhattan as "going to the City".[286] Journalist Walt Whitman characterized the streets of Manhattan as being traversed by "hurrying, feverish, electric crowds".[287]
Manhattan has been the scene of many important global and American cultural movements. In 1912, about 20,000 workers, a quarter of them women, marched upon Washington Square Park to commemorate the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which killed 146 workers on March 25, 1911. Many of the women wore fitted tucked-front blouses like those manufactured by the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, a clothing style that became the working woman's uniform and a symbol of women's liberation, reflecting the alliance of labor and suffrage movements.[288]The Metropolitan Museum of ArtThe Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s established the African-American literary canon in the United States and introduced writers Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. Manhattan's vibrant visual art scene in the 1950s and 1960s was a center of the pop art movement, which gave birth to such giants as Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein. The downtown pop art movement of the late 1970s included artist Andy Warhol and clubs like Serendipity 3 and Studio 54, where he socialized.
Broadway theatre is considered the highest professional form of theatre in the United States. Plays and musicals are staged in one of the 39 larger professional theatres with at least 500 seats, almost all in and around Times Square. Off-Broadway theatres feature productions in venues with 100–500 seats.[289][290] Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, anchoring Lincoln Square on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, is home to 12 influential arts organizations, including the Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and New York City Ballet, as well as the Vivian Beaumont Theater, the Juilliard School, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Alice Tully Hall. Performance artists displaying diverse skills are ubiquitous on the streets of Manhattan.Map of same-sex couples in ManhattanManhattan is also home to some of the most extensive art collections in the world, both contemporary and classical art, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Frick Collection, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Guggenheim Museum. The Upper East Side has many art galleries,[291][292] and the downtown neighborhood of Chelsea is known for its more than 200 art galleries that are home to modern art from both upcoming and established artists.[293][294] Many of the world's most lucrative art sales are held in Manhattan.[295][296]
The Empire State Building displays the colors of the Rainbow Flag as an LGBT icon, top. The annual NYC Pride March in June (seen here in 2018) is the world's largest LGBT event, imaged below.[297][298]Manhattan is the epicenter of LGBT culture and the central node of the LGBTQ+ sociopolitical ecosystem.[299] The borough is widely acclaimed as the cradle of the modern LGBTQ rights movement, with its inception at the June 1969 Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan – widely considered to constitute the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement[112][300][301] and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.[113][302] Brian Silverman, the author of Frommer's New York City from $90 a Day, wrote the city has "one of the world's largest, loudest, and most powerful LGBT communities", and "Gay and lesbian culture is as much a part of New York's basic identity as yellow cabs, high-rise buildings, and Broadway theatre"—[303] radiating from this central hub, as LGBT travel guide Queer in the World states, "The fabulosity of Gay New York is unrivaled on Earth, and queer culture seeps into every corner of its five boroughs".[304] Multiple gay villages have developed, spanning the length of the borough from the Lower East Side, East Village, and Greenwich Village, through Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen, uptown to Morningside Heights.
The annual NYC Pride March (or gay pride parade) traverses southward down Fifth Avenue and ends at Greenwich Village; the Manhattan parade is the largest pride parade in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants and millions of sidewalk spectators each June.[298][297] Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 was the largest international Pride celebration in history, produced by Heritage of Pride. The events were in partnership with the I ❤ NY program's LGBT division, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, with 150,000 participants and five million spectators attending in Manhattan.[305]
The borough is represented in several prominent idioms. The phrase New York minute is meant to convey an extremely short time such as an instant,[306] sometimes in hyperbolic form, as in "perhaps faster than you would believe is possible," referring to the rapid pace of life in Manhattan.[307][308] The expression "melting pot" was first popularly coined to describe the densely populated immigrant neighborhoods on the Lower East Side in Israel Zangwill's play The Melting Pot, which was an adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet set by Zangwill in New York City in 1908.[309] The iconic Flatiron Building is said to have been the source of the phrase "23 skidoo" or scram, from what cops would shout at men who tried to get glimpses of women's dresses being blown up by the winds created by the triangular building.[310] The "Big Apple" dates back to the 1920s, when a reporter heard the term used by New Orleans stablehands to refer to New York City's horse racetracks and named his racing column "Around The Big Apple". Jazz musicians adopted the term to refer to the city as the world's jazz capital, and a 1970s ad campaign by the New York Convention and Visitors Bureau helped popularize the term.[311] Manhattan, Kansas, a city of 53,000 people,[312] was named by New York investors after the borough and is nicknamed the "little apple".[313]
Clockwise, from upper left: the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the world's largest parade;[314] the annual Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village, the world's largest Halloween parade, with millions of spectators annually, and with its roots in New York's queer community;[315] the annual Philippine Independence Day Parade, the largest outside the Philippines; and the ticker-tape parade for the Apollo 11 astronautsManhattan is well known for its street parades, which celebrate a broad array of themes, including holidays, nationalities, human rights, and major league sports team championship victories. The majority of higher profile parades in New York City are held in Manhattan. The primary orientation of the annual street parades is typically from north to south, marching along major avenues. The annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is the world's largest parade,[314] beginning alongside Central Park and processing southward to the Flagship Macy's Herald Square store;[316] the parade is viewed on telecasts worldwide and draws millions of spectators in person.[314] Other notable parades including the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade in March, the New York City Pride Parade in June, the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade in October, and numerous parades commemorating the independence days of many nations. Ticker-tape parades celebrating championships won by sports teams as well as other heroic accomplishments march northward along the Canyon of Heroes on Broadway from Bowling Green to City Hall Park in Lower Manhattan. New York Fashion Week, held at various locations in Manhattan, is a high-profile semiannual event featuring models displaying the latest wardrobes created by prominent fashion designers worldwide in advance of these fashions proceeding to the retail marketplace.
Madison Square Garden is home to the Rangers and Knicks, and hosts some Liberty games.
The Skating Pond in Central Park, 1862Manhattan is home to the NBA's New York Knicks and the NHL's New York Rangers, both of which play their home games at Madison Square Garden, the only major professional sports arena in the borough. The Garden was also home to the WNBA's New York Liberty through the 2017 season, but that team's primary home is now the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The New York Jets proposed a West Side Stadium for their home field, but the proposal was eventually defeated in June 2005, and they now play at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.[317]
While Manhattan does not currently have a professional baseball franchise, three of the four Major League Baseball teams to have played in New York City played in Manhattan. The original New York Giants baseball team played in the various incarnations of the Polo Grounds at 155th Street and Eighth Avenue from their inception in 1883—except for 1889, when they split their time between Jersey City, New Jersey and Staten Island, and when they played in Hilltop Park in 1911—until they headed to California with the Brooklyn Dodgers after the 1957 season.[318] The New York Yankees began their franchise as the Highlanders, named for Hilltop Park, where they played from their creation in 1903 until 1912. The team moved to the Polo Grounds with the 1913 season, where they were officially christened the New York Yankees, remaining there until they moved across the Harlem River in 1923 to Yankee Stadium.[319] The New York Mets played in the Polo Grounds in 1962 and 1963, their first two seasons, before Shea Stadium was completed in 1964.[320] After the Mets departed, the Polo Grounds was demolished in April 1964, replaced by public housing.[321][322]
The first national college-level basketball championship, the National Invitation Tournament, was held in New York in 1938 and remains in the city.[323] The New York Knicks started play in 1946 as one of the National Basketball Association's original teams, playing their first home games at the 69th Regiment Armory, before making Madison Square Garden their permanent home.[324] The New York Liberty of the WNBA shared the Garden with the Knicks from their creation in 1997 as one of the league's original eight teams through the 2017 season,[325] after which the team moved nearly all of its home schedule to White Plains in Westchester County.[326] Rucker Park in Harlem is a playground court, famed for its streetball style of play, where many NBA athletes have played in the summer league.[327]
Although both of New York City's football teams play today across the Hudson River in MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, both teams started out playing in the Polo Grounds. The New York Giants played side-by-side with their baseball namesakes from the time they entered the National Football League in 1925, until crossing over to Yankee Stadium in 1956.[328] The New York Jets, originally known as the Titans of New York, started out in 1960 at the Polo Grounds, staying there for four seasons before joining the Mets in Queens at Shea Stadium in 1964.[329]
The New York Rangers of the National Hockey League have played in the various locations of Madison Square Garden since the team's founding in the 1926–1927 season. The Rangers were predated by the New York Americans, who started play in the Garden the previous season, lasting until the team folded after the 1941–1942 NHL season, a season it played in the Garden as the Brooklyn Americans.[330]
The New York Cosmos of the North American Soccer League played their home games at Downing Stadium for two seasons, starting in 1974. The playing pitch and facilities at Downing Stadium were in unsatisfactory condition, however, and as the team's popularity grew they too left for Yankee Stadium, and then Giants Stadium. The stadium was demolished in 2002 to make way for the $45 million, 4,754-seat Icahn Stadium, which includes an Olympic-standard 400-meter running track and, as part of Pelé's and the Cosmos' legacy, includes a FIFA-approved floodlit soccer stadium that hosts matches between the 48 youth teams of a Manhattan soccer club.[331][332]
GovernmentMain article: Government of New York City
Manhattan Municipal BuildingSince New York City's consolidation in 1898, Manhattan has been governed by the New York City Charter, which has provided for a strong mayor–council system since its revision in 1989.[333] The centralized New York City government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply, and welfare services in Manhattan.
The office of Borough President was created in the consolidation of 1898 to balance centralization with local authority. Each borough president had a powerful administrative role derived from having a vote on the New York City Board of Estimate, which was responsible for creating and approving the city's budget and proposals for land use. In 1989, the Supreme Court of the United States declared the Board of Estimate unconstitutional because Brooklyn, the most populous borough, had no greater effective representation on the Board than Staten Island, the least populous borough, a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause pursuant to the high court's 1964 "one man, one vote" decision.[334]
Since 1990, the largely powerless Borough President has acted as an advocate for the borough at the mayoral agencies, the City Council, the New York state government, and corporations. Manhattan's current Borough President is Mark Levine, elected as a Democrat in November 2021. Levine replaced Gale Brewer, who went on to represent the sixth district of the New York City Council.
Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, is the District Attorney of New York County. Manhattan has ten City Council members, the third largest contingent among the five boroughs. It also has twelve administrative districts, each served by a local Community Board. Community Boards are representative bodies that field complaints and serve as advocates for local residents.
As the host of the United Nations, the borough is home to the world's largest international consular corps, comprising 105 consulates, consulates general and honorary consulates.[335] It is also the home of New York City Hall, the seat of New York City government housing the Mayor of New York City and the New York City Council. The mayor's staff and thirteen municipal agencies are located in the nearby Manhattan Municipal Building, completed in 1914, one of the largest governmental buildings in the world.[336]
PoliticsSee also: Community boards of Manhattan¶ The presidential election results below for the years 1876-1912 are not strictly comparable with the earlier and later ones because New York County included the West Bronx after 1874 and all of what is now the Borough of the Bronx (Bronx County, New York) from 1895 until The Bronx became a separate borough in 1914.
United States presidential election results for New York County, New York[337][338][339]YearRepublican / WhigDemocraticThird partyNo. %No. %No. %202085,18512.21%603,04086.42%9,5881.37%201664,9309.71%579,01386.56%24,9973.74%201289,55914.92%502,67483.74%8,0581.34%200889,94913.47%572,37085.70%5,5660.83%2004107,40516.73%526,76582.06%7,7811.21%200082,11314.38%454,52379.60%34,3706.02%199667,83913.76%394,13179.96%30,9296.27%199284,50115.88%416,14278.20%31,4755.92%1988115,92722.89%385,67576.14%4,9490.98%1984144,28127.39%379,52172.06%2,8690.54%1980115,91126.23%275,74262.40%50,24511.37%1976117,70225.54%337,43873.22%5,6981.24%1972178,51533.38%354,32666.25%2,0220.38%1968135,45825.59%370,80670.04%23,1284.37%1964120,12519.20%503,84880.52%1,7460.28%1960217,27134.19%414,90265.28%3,3940.53%1956300,00444.26%377,85655.74%00.00%1952300,28439.30%446,72758.47%16,9742.22%1948241,75232.75%380,31051.51%116,20815.74%1944258,65033.47%509,26365.90%4,8640.63%1940292,48037.59%478,15361.45%7,4660.96%1936174,29924.51%517,13472.71%19,8202.79%1932157,01427.78%378,07766.89%30,1145.33%1928186,39635.74%317,22760.82%17,9353.44%1924190,87141.20%183,24939.55%89,20619.25%1920275,01359.22%135,24929.12%54,15811.66%1916113,25442.65%139,54752.55%12,7594.80%191263,10718.15%166,15747.79%118,39134.05%1908154,95844.71%160,26146.24%31,3939.06%1904155,00342.11%189,71251.54%23,3576.35%1900153,00144.16%181,78652.47%11,7003.38%1896156,35950.73%135,62444.00%16,2495.27%189298,96734.73%175,26761.50%10,7503.77%1888106,92239.20%162,73559.67%3,0761.13%188490,09539.54%133,22258.47%4,5301.99%188081,73039.79%123,01559.90%6360.31%187658,56134.17%112,53065.66%2890.17%187254,67641.27%77,81458.73%00.00%186847,73830.59%108,31669.41%00.00%186436,68133.23%73,70966.77%00.00%186033,29034.83%62,29365.17%00.00%185617,77122.32%41,91352.65%19,92225.03%185223,12439.98%34,28059.27%4360.75%184829,07054.51%18,97335.57%5,2909.92%184426,38548.15%28,29651.64%1170.21%184020,95848.69%21,93650.96%1530.36%183616,34848.42%17,41751.58%00.00%183212,50640.97%18,02059.03%00.00%18289,63838.44%15,43561.56%00.00%
James A. Farley Post OfficeThe Democratic Party holds most public offices. Registered Republicans are a minority in the borough, constituting 9.88% of the electorate as of April 2016. Registered Republicans are more than 20% of the electorate only in the neighborhoods of the Upper East Side and the Financial District as of 2016. Democrats accounted for 68.41% of those registered to vote, while 17.94% of voters were unaffiliated.[340][341]
No Republican has won the presidential election in Manhattan since 1924, when Calvin Coolidge won a plurality of the New York County vote over Democrat John W. Davis, 41.20%–39.55%. Warren G. Harding was the most recent Republican presidential candidate to win a majority of the Manhattan vote, with 59.22% of the 1920 vote.[citation needed] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 82.1% of the vote in Manhattan and Republican George W. Bush received 16.7%.[342] The borough is the most important source of funding for presidential campaigns in the United States; in 2004, it was home to six of the top seven ZIP codes in the nation for political contributions.[343] The top ZIP code, 10021 on the Upper East Side, generated the most money for the United States presidential election for all presidential candidates, including both Kerry and Bush during the 2004 election.[344]
Representatives in the U.S. CongressIn 2018, four Democrats represented Manhattan in the United States House of Representatives.[345]
Nydia Velázquez (first elected in 1992) represents New York's 7th congressional district, which includes the Lower East Side and Alphabet City. The district also covers central and western Brooklyn and a small part of Queens.[345][346][347]Jerry Nadler (first elected in 1992) represents New York's 10th congressional district, which includes the West Side neighborhoods of Battery Park City, Chelsea, Chinatown, the Financial District, Greenwich Village, Hell's Kitchen, SoHo, Tribeca, and the Upper West Side. The district also covers southwestern Brooklyn.[345][348][349]Carolyn Maloney (first elected in 1992) represents New York's 12th congressional district, which includes the East Side neighborhoods of Gramercy Park, Kips Bay, Midtown Manhattan, Murray Hill, Roosevelt Island, Turtle Bay, Upper East Side, and most of the Lower East Side and the East Village. The district also covers western Queens.[345][350][351]Adriano Espaillat (first elected in 2016) represents New York's 13th congressional district, which includes the Upper Manhattan neighborhoods of East Harlem, Harlem, Inwood, Marble Hill, Washington Heights, and portions of Morningside Heights, as well as part of the northwest Bronx.[345][352][353]Federal officesThe United States Postal Service operates post offices in Manhattan. The James Farley Post Office at 421 Eighth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, between 31st Street and 33rd Street, is New York City's main post office.[354] Both the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit are located in Lower Manhattan's Foley Square, and the U.S. Attorney and other federal offices and agencies maintain locations in that area.
Crime and public safetyMain article: Crime in New York City
A slum tour through the Five Points in an 1885 sketchStarting in the mid-19th century, the United States became a magnet for immigrants seeking to escape poverty in their home countries. After arriving in New York, many new arrivals ended up living in squalor in the slums of the Five Points neighborhood, an area between Broadway and the Bowery, northeast of New York City Hall. By the 1820s, the area was home to many gambling dens and brothels, and was known as a dangerous place to go. In 1842, Charles Dickens visited the area and was appalled at the horrendous living conditions he had seen.[355] The area was so notorious that it even caught the attention of Abraham Lincoln, who visited the area before his Cooper Union speech in 1860.[356] The predominantly Irish Five Points Gang was one of the country's first major organized crime entities.
As Italian immigration grew in the early 20th century many joined ethnic gangs, including Al Capone, who got his start in crime with the Five Points Gang.[357] The Mafia (also known as Cosa Nostra) first developed in the mid-19th century in Sicily and spread to the East Coast of the United States during the late 19th century following waves of Sicilian and Southern Italian emigration. Lucky Luciano established Cosa Nostra in Manhattan, forming alliances with other criminal enterprises, including the Jewish mob, led by Meyer Lansky, the leading Jewish gangster of that period.[358] From 1920–1933, Prohibition helped create a thriving black market in liquor, upon which the Mafia was quick to capitalize.[358]
New York City as a whole experienced a sharp increase in crime during the post-war period.[359] The murder rate in Manhattan hit an all time high of 42 murders per 100,000 residents in 1979.[360] Manhattan retained the highest murder rate in the city until 1985 when it was surpassed by the Bronx. Most serious violent crime has been historically concentrated in Upper Manhattan and the Lower East Side, though robbery in particular was a major quality of life concern throughout the borough. Through the 1990s and 2000s, crime in Manhattan plummeted in all categories versus historic highs.[citation needed]
Today crime rates in most of Lower Manhattan, Midtown, the Upper East Side, and the Upper West Side are consistent with other major city centers in the United States. However, crime rates remain high in the Upper Manhattan neighborhoods of East Harlem, Harlem, Washington Heights, Inwood, and NYCHA developments across the borough despite significant reductions. In more recent years[clarification needed] there has been an increase in violent crime, particularly in Upper Manhattan and NYCHA Manhattan's early history, wood construction and poor access to water supplies left the city vulnerable to fires. In 1776, shortly after the Continental Army evacuated Manhattan and left it to the British, a massive fire broke out destroying one-third of the city and some 500 houses.[364]Tenement houses in 1936The rise of immigration near the turn of the 20th century left major portions of Manhattan, especially the Lower East Side, densely packed with recent arrivals, crammed into unhealthy and unsanitary housing. Tenements were usually five stories high, constructed on the then-typical 25 by 100 feet (7.6 by 30.5 m) lots, with "co*ckroach landlords" exploiting the new immigrants.[365][366] By 1929, stricter fire codes and the increased use of elevators in residential buildings, were the impetus behind a new housing code that effectively ended the tenement as a form of new construction, though many tenement buildings survive today on the East Side of the borough.[366] Conversely, there were also areas with luxury apartment developments, the first of which was the Dakota on the Upper West Side.[367]At the time of its construction, London Terrace in Chelsea was the largest apartment building in the world.Manhattan offers a wide array of public (NYCHA) and private housing options. Affordable rental and co-operative housing units throughout the borough were created under the Mitchell–Lama Housing Program. There were 852,575 housing units in 2013[35] at an average density of 37,345 units per square mile (14,419/km2). As of 2003, only 20.3% of Manhattan residents lived in owner-occupied housing, the second-lowest rate of all counties in the nation, behind the Bronx.[368] Although the city of New York has the highest average cost for rent in the United States, it simultaneously hosts a higher average of income per capita. Because of this, rent is a lower percentage of annual income than in several other American cities.[369]
Manhattan's real estate market for luxury housing continues to be among the most expensive in the world,[370] and Manhattan residential property continues to have the highest sale price per square foot in the United States.[25] Manhattan's apartments cost $1,773 per square foot ($19,080/m2), compared to San Francisco housing at $1,185 per square foot ($12,760/m2), Boston housing at $751 per square foot ($8,080/m2), and Los Angeles housing at $451 per square foot also: Transportation in New York CityPublic transportation
Grand Central Terminal is a National Historic Landmark.
Ferries departing Battery Park City and helicopters flying above Manhattan
The Staten Island Ferry, seen from the Battery, crosses Upper New York Bay, providing free public transportation between Staten Island and Manhattan.Manhattan is unique in the U.S. for intense use of public transportation and lack of private car ownership. While 88% of Americans nationwide drive to their jobs, with only 5% using public transport, mass transit is the dominant form of travel for residents of Manhattan, with 72% of borough residents using public transport to get to work, while only 18% drove.[372][373] According to the 2000 United States Census, 77.5% of Manhattan households do not own a car.[374]
In 2008, Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a congestion pricing system to regulate entering Manhattan south of 60th Street. The state legislature rejected the proposal in June 2008.[375]
The New York City Subway, the largest subway system in the world by number of stations, is the primary means of travel within the city, linking every borough except Staten Island. There are 151 subway stations in Manhattan, out of the 472 stations.[376] A second subway, the PATH system, connects six stations in Manhattan to northern New Jersey. Passengers pay fares with pay-per-ride MetroCards, which are valid on all city buses and subways, as well as on PATH trains.[377][378] There are 7-day and 30-day MetroCards that allow unlimited trips on all subways (except PATH) and MTA bus routes (except for express buses).[379] The PATH QuickCard is being phased out, having been replaced by the SmartLink. The MTA is testing "smart card" payment systems to replace the MetroCard.[380] Commuter rail services operating to and from Manhattan are the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), which connects Manhattan and other New York City boroughs to Long Island; the Metro-North Railroad, which connects Manhattan to Upstate New York and Southwestern Connecticut; and NJ Transit trains, which run to various points in New Jersey.
The US$11.1 billion East Side Access project, which brings LIRR trains to Grand Central Terminal, opened in 2023; this project utilized a pre-existing train tunnel beneath the East River, connecting the East Side of Manhattan with Long Island City, Queens.[381][382] Four multi-billion-dollar projects were completed in the mid-2010s: the $1.4 billion Fulton Center in November 2014,[383] the $2.4 billion 7 Subway Extension in September 2015,[384] the $4 billion World Trade Center Transportation Hub in March 2016,[385][386] and Phase 1 of the $4.5 billion Second Avenue Subway in January 2017.[387][388]
MTA New York City Transit offers a wide variety of local buses within Manhattan under the brand New York City Bus. An extensive network of express bus routes serves commuters and other travelers heading into Manhattan.[389] The bus system served 784 million passengers citywide in 2011, placing the bus system's ridership as the highest in the nation, and more than double the ridership of the second-place Los Angeles system.[390]
The Roosevelt Island Tramway, one of two commuter cable car systems in North America, whisks commuters between Roosevelt Island and Manhattan in less than five minutes, and has been serving the island since 1978. (The other system in North America is the Portland Aerial Tram.)[391][392]
The Staten Island Ferry, which runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, annually carries over 21 million passengers on the 5.2-mile (8.4 km) run between Manhattan and Staten Island. Each weekday, five vessels transport about 65,000 passengers on 109 boat trips.[393][394] The ferry has been fare-free since 1997, when the then-50-cent fare was eliminated.[395] In February 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city government would begin NYC Ferry to extend ferry transportation to traditionally underserved communities in the city.[396][397] The first routes of NYC Ferry opened in 2017.[398][399] All of the system's routes have termini in Manhattan, and the Lower East Side and Soundview routes also have intermediate stops on the East River.[400]
The metro region's commuter rail lines converge at Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal, on the west and east sides of Midtown Manhattan, respectively. They are the two busiest rail stations in the United States. About one-third of users of mass transit and two-thirds of railway passengers in the country live in New York and its suburbs.[401] Amtrak provides inter-city passenger rail service from Penn Station to Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.; Upstate New York and New England; cross-Canadian border service to Toronto and Montreal; and destinations in the Southern and Midwestern United States.
Major highwaysI-78I-95I-278I-478I-495US 9NY 9ANY 495TaxisMain article: Taxicabs of New York CityNew York's iconic yellow taxicabs, which number 13,087 city-wide and must have the requisite medallion authorizing the pick up of street hails, are ubiquitous in the borough.[402] Various private vehicle for hire companies provide significant competition for taxicab drivers in Manhattan.[403]
BicyclesMain article: Cycling in New York CityManhattan also has tens of thousands of bicycle commuters.
Streets and roads
The Brooklyn Bridge to the right and the Manhattan Bridge towards the left, are two of the three bridges that connect Lower Manhattan with Brooklyn over the East River.
Eighth Avenue, looking northward ("Uptown"), in the rain; most streets and avenues in Manhattan's grid plan incorporate a one-way traffic configuration.
Tourists looking westward at sunset to observe the July 12, 2016, ManhattanhengeSee also: List of numbered streets in Manhattan and List of eponymous streets in New York CityThe Commissioners' Plan of 1811 called for twelve numbered avenues running north and south roughly parallel to the shore of the Hudson River, each 100 feet (30 m) wide, with First Avenue on the east side and Twelfth Avenue on the west side. There are several intermittent avenues east of First Avenue, including four additional lettered avenues running from Avenue A eastward to Avenue D in an area now known as Alphabet City in Manhattan's East Village. The numbered streets in Manhattan run east–west, and are generally 60 feet (18 m) wide, with about 200 feet (61 m) between each pair of streets. With each combined street and block adding up to about 260 feet (79 m), there are almost exactly 20 blocks per mile. The typical block in Manhattan is 250 by 600 feet (76 by 183 m).
According to the original Commissioner's Plan, there were 155 numbered crosstown streets,[404] but later the grid was extended up to the northernmost corner of Manhattan, where the last numbered street is 220th Street. Moreover, the numbering system continues even in the Bronx, north of Manhattan, despite the fact that the grid plan is not as regular in that borough, whose last numbered street is 263rd Street.[405] Fifteen crosstown streets were designated as 100 feet (30 m) wide, including 34th, 42nd, 57th and 125th Streets,[406] which became some of the borough's most significant transportation and shopping venues. Broadway is the most notable of many exceptions to the grid, starting at Bowling Green in Lower Manhattan and continuing north into the Bronx at Manhattan's northern tip. In much of Midtown Manhattan, Broadway runs at a diagonal to the grid, creating major named intersections at Union Square (Park Avenue South/Fourth Avenue and 14th Street), Madison Square (Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street), Herald Square (Sixth Avenue and 34th Street), Times Square (Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street), and Columbus Circle (Eighth Avenue/Central Park West and 59th Street).
"Crosstown traffic" refers primarily to vehicular traffic between Manhattan's East Side and West Side. The trip is notoriously frustrating for drivers because of heavy congestion on narrow local streets laid out by the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, absence of express roads other than the Trans-Manhattan Expressway at the far north end of Manhattan Island; and restricted to very limited crosstown automobile travel within Central Park. Proposals in the mid-1900s to build express roads through the city's densest neighborhoods, namely the Mid-Manhattan Expressway and Lower Manhattan Expressway, did not go forward. Unlike the rest of the United States, New York State prohibits right or left turns on red in cities with a population greater than one million, to reduce traffic collisions and increase pedestrian safety. In New York City, therefore, all turns at red lights are illegal unless a sign permitting such maneuvers is present, significantly shaping traffic patterns in Manhattan.[407]
Another consequence of the strict grid plan of most of Manhattan, and the grid's skew of approximately 28.9 degrees, is a phenomenon sometimes referred to as Manhattanhenge (by analogy with Stonehenge).[408] On separate occasions in late May and early July, the sunset is aligned with the street grid lines, with the result that the sun is visible at or near the western horizon from street level.[408][409] A similar phenomenon occurs with the sunrise in January and December.
The FDR Drive and Harlem River Drive, both designed by controversial New York master planner Robert Moses,[410] comprise a single, long limited-access parkway skirting the east side of Manhattan along the East River and Harlem River south of Dyckman Street. The Henry Hudson Parkway is the corresponding parkway on the West Side north of 57th Street.
River crossings
Ferry service departing Battery Park City Ferry Terminal for Paulus Hook in New JerseyBeing primarily an island, Manhattan is linked to New York City's outer boroughs by numerous bridges, of various sizes. Manhattan has fixed highway connections with New Jersey to its west by way of the George Washington Bridge, the Holland Tunnel, and the Lincoln Tunnel, and to three of the four other New York City boroughs—the Bronx to the northeast, and Brooklyn and Queens (both on Long Island) to the east and south. Its only direct connection with the fifth New York City borough, Staten Island, is the Staten Island Ferry across New York Harbor, which is free of charge. The ferry terminal is located near Battery Park at Manhattan's southern tip. It is also possible to travel on land to Staten Island by way of Brooklyn, via the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
The George Washington Bridge, the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge,[411][412] connects Washington Heights, in Upper Manhattan, to Bergen County, in New Jersey. There are numerous bridges to the Bronx across the Harlem River, and five (listed north to south)—the Triborough (known officially as the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge), Ed Koch Queensboro (also known as the 59th Street Bridge), Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridges—that cross the East River to connect Manhattan to Long Island.
Several tunnels also link Manhattan Island to New York City's outer boroughs and New Jersey. The Lincoln Tunnel, which carries 120,000 vehicles a day under the Hudson River between New Jersey and Midtown Manhattan, is the busiest vehicular tunnel in the world.[413] The tunnel was built instead of a bridge to allow unfettered passage of large passenger and cargo ships that sail through New York Harbor and up the Hudson River to Manhattan's piers. The Holland Tunnel, connecting Lower Manhattan to Jersey City, New Jersey, was the world's first mechanically ventilated vehicular tunnel.[414] The Queens–Midtown Tunnel, built to relieve congestion on the bridges connecting Manhattan with Queens and Brooklyn, was the largest non-federal project in its time when it was completed in 1940;[415] President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first person to drive through it.[416] The Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel runs underneath Battery Park and connects the Financial District at the southern tip of Manhattan to Red Hook in Brooklyn.
Several ferry services operate between New Jersey and Manhattan.[417] These ferries mainly serve midtown (at W. 39th St.), Battery Park City (WFC at Brookfield Place), and Wall Street (Pier 11).
HeliportsManhattan has three public heliports: the East 34th Street Heliport (also known as the Atlantic Metroport) at East 34th Street, owned by New York City and run by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC); the Port Authority Downtown Manhattan/Wall Street Heliport, owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and run by the NYCEDC; and the West 30th Street Heliport, a privately owned heliport owned by the Hudson River Park Trust.[418] US Helicopter offered regularly scheduled helicopter service connecting the Downtown Manhattan Heliport with John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, before going out of business in 2009.[419]
UtilitiesGas and electric service is provided by Consolidated Edison to all of Manhattan. Con Edison's electric business traces its roots back to Thomas Edison's Edison Electric Illuminating Company, the first investor-owned electric utility. The company started service on September 4, 1882, using one generator to provide 110 volts direct current (DC) to 59 customers with 800 light bulbs, in a one-square-mile area of Lower Manhattan from his Pearl Street Station.[420] Con Edison operates the world's largest district steam system, which consists of 105 miles (169 km) of steam pipes, providing steam for heating, hot water, and air conditioning[421] by some 1,800 Manhattan customers.[422] Cable service is provided by Time Warner Cable and telephone service is provided by Verizon Communications, although AT&T is available as well.
Manhattan witnessed the doubling of the natural gas supply delivered to the borough when a new gas pipeline opened on November 1, 2013.[423]
The New York City Department of Sanitation is responsible for garbage removal.[424] The bulk of the city's trash ultimately is disposed at mega-dumps in Pennsylvania, Virginia, South Carolina and Ohio (via transfer stations in New Jersey, Brooklyn and Queens) since the 2001 closure of the Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island.[425] A small amount of trash processed at transfer sites in New Jersey is sometimes incinerated at waste-to-energy facilities. Like New York City, New Jersey and much of Greater New York relies on exporting its trash to far-flung areas.
New York City has the largest clean-air diesel-hybrid and compressed natural gas bus fleet, which also operates in Manhattan, in the country. It also has some of the first hybrid taxis, most of which operate in Manhattan.[426]
Health careMain article: List of hospitals in New York City § ManhattanThere are many hospitals in Manhattan, including two of the 25 largest in the United States (as of 2017):[427]
Bellevue HospitalLenox Hill HospitalLower Manhattan HospitalMetropolitan Hospital CenterMount Sinai Beth Israel HospitalMount Sinai HospitalNewYork–Presbyterian HospitalNYC Health + Hospitals/HarlemNYU Langone Medical CenterWater purity and availabilityMain articles: Food and water in New York City and New York City water supply systemNew York City is supplied with drinking water by the protected Catskill Mountains watershed.[428] As a result of the watershed's integrity and undisturbed natural water filtration system, New York is one of only four major cities in the United States the majority of whose drinking water is pure enough not to require purification by water treatment plants.[429] The Croton Watershed north of the city is undergoing construction of a US$3.2 billion water purification plant to augment New York City's water supply by an estimated 290 million gallons daily, representing a greater than 20% addition to the city's current availability of water.[430] Manhattan, surrounded by two brackish rivers, had a limited supply of fresh water. To satisfy its growing population, the City of New York acquired land in adjacent Westchester County and constructed the old Croton Aqueduct system there, which went into service in 1842 and was superseded by the new Croton Aqueduct, which opened in 1890. This, however, was interrupted in 2008 for the ongoing construction of a US$3.2 billion water purification plant that can supply an estimated 290 million gallons daily when completed, representing an almost 20% addition to the city's availability of water, with this addition going to Manhattan and the Bronx.[431] Water comes to Manhattan through the tunnels 1 and 2, completed in 1917 and 1935, and in future through Tunnel No. 3, begun in 1970.[432]
Address algorithmMain article: Manhattan address algorithmThe address algorithm of Manhattan refers to the formulas used to estimate the closest east–west cross street for building numbers on north–south avenues. It is commonly noted in telephone directories, New York City travel guides, and MTA Manhattan bus maps.
See alsoLGBT portalWorld portalFlagUnited States portalFlagNew York (state) portalFlagNew York City portalHistory of New York CityList of Manhattan neighborhoodsList of people from Register of Historic Places listings in ManhattanSawing-off of Manhattan Island



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