10 Secrets of New York City’s Central Park

Flying High ? Jennifer Khordi




Learn some little-known facts about this NYC landmark

These days, 42 million people visit Central Park every year, rambling about its sprawling Sheep Meadow, its lovely lake, and its epic gardens. Seth Kamil, whose company Big Onion has led tours of Central Park and other NYC landmarks for a quarter century—and who actually met his wife while leading one of his tours decades ago—told us a few little-known facts about this historic 19th-century landmark.

  • The park was probably founded to boost nearby residents’ property values.
  • A newspaper editor was the first one to clamor for Central Park.
  • There was a very specific, open-to-the-public competition to design the park.
  • Sheep Meadow really did once have sheep.
  • Central Park is designed to be a microcosm of New York State itself.
  • The Casino was a hotspot during Prohibition.
  • Central Park cost about as much money as the entire state of Alaska.
  • The park displaced about 20 percent of New York’s property-owning blacks.
  • There are no cannonballs under Bow Bridge.
  • The roads are curved to prevent horse and carriage races.



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