Central Park New Deal Sites - Photo #65 - The Great Lawn


Central Park Great Lawn
Photo: Google Maps - Click to enlarge.
Central Park's Great Lawn. In 1934 it was the site of the Lower Reservoir that had recently been drained only to become a “Hooverville” of people left unemployed and homeless by the Great Depression[2]. By the end of 1936
Central Park Great Lawn 1931
Photo: UPI 1931.
the Parks Department, with CWA funding and labor (initially, but probably WPA starting in 1935), transformed it into today's Great Lawn, featuring 8 ball fields and promenade around the perimeter.


  1. Rosenzweig, Roy, and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and the People: A History of Central Park, Cornell University Press (1992), pp.449-451: “Moses now set a vast number of laborers, most of them paid by federal relief programs, to work on the reservoir site. By the summer of 1934, he had opened one of the two playgrounds; two years later, the Great Lawn was essentially completed.”
  2. The Report of the Department of Parks to August 1934: Memorandum on 1935 Bud