150 Years of Central Park
An Urban Escape
Central Park was first conceived in the 1850s as a getaway for all of Manhattan's residents. Original plans called for a park to be created out of a smaller area along the East River known as Jones Woods. Planners, however, opted for a larger, more centrally located site: the very middle of Manhattan Island. The etching above shows how the park looked in 1860, one year after its opening.