Total Reconstruction of Central Park, 1938
Above is an aerial view of Central Park in 1938, showing how the park
looked just after Parks Department, using New Deal funds, labor, and
designers, had finished reconstructing the park, thousands of men working in
three shifts around the clock in all weather on the construction of walls,
new park entrances; removal of dead trees; plowing, seeding, planting,
pruning, landscaping; installing footpaths and trails, drinking fountains,
drainage, lighting, plus standardized benches, wastebaskets, and fences to
be used throughout the Parks system . Clearly
visible are many of the results of this work:
- Heckscher playground (renovated) and ball fields (new), lower left.
- The new Zoo and renovated Arsenal, opposite the Heckscher Ball Fields on
- Tavern on the Green, just north of the Heckscher Ball Fields on the left.
- The Great Lawn, just below the Reservoir.
- North Meadow, the light area just above the Reservoir.
- The Conservatory Garden, just above the Reservoir on the right.
- Harlem Meer, in the upper right corner (completed in 937).
- Thousands of recently planted trees, numerous new paths, etc.
- Rosenzweig, Roy, and Elizabeth Blackmar,
Park and the People: A History of Central Park, Cornell University Press
- Caro, Robert A., The
Power Broker - Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, Vintage Books
(1974), pp.368-372: ”Out in the parks, the ragtag ranks of CWA [Civil Works
Administration] workers were being shaped up ... by foremen or
‘ramrods’ [themselves paid by the CWA] ... The winter of 1934
was the first of five of the most severe in New York's history. T