A whimsical Victorian fountain in Central Park

Bethesda Fountain is the one tourists flock to. But just to the west is an ornate beauty dating to 1860, made with frosted glass bowl lamps, gilded black goblets, Minton tiles and topped by a golden spire.

This is Cherry Hill Fountain, in a part of the park overlooking the Lake and near the Ramble ringed by cherry trees.

It’s delicate and pretty, but it also served a purpose, providing “people on horseback or in carriages a place to rest, admire the view of the Lake, and water their animals” in the trough at the base.

Used as a parking lot for many years, it was finally restored in the 1990s. Once again, its gentle waters flow through eight ornate flowers.

It’s one of those hiding-in-plain-sight gems that most people walk right by on their way to some other park attraction.

Horses are no longer allowed to drink from it (as they do in this 1870s photo), but it’s still a lovely scenic spot.

[Photo at left: Central Park Conservatory]

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6 Responses to “A whimsical Victorian fountain in Central Park”

  1. Joe R Says:

    I think that this is the fountain that is incorrectly thought by some to be the fountain used in the opening sequence of the TV show “Friends”.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Yes, I read about that while researching the fountain. Apparently all the pedicab drivers say this, when the opening sequence was actually filmed on a Hollywood lot.

  3. marylandis Says:

    Reblogged this on Hints and Echoes and commented:
    Ephemeral New York is another of my favorite blogs, and Central Park, a priceless legacy of the 19th century, is my favorite New York place!

  4. Lovely fountains for city horses and other animals « Ephemeral New York Says:

    [...] are a few other old horse troughs around Manhattan, one in Central Park and another hiding in the East [...]

  5. Newport Carl Says:

    I love this fountain and I love this blog site … Thank you

  6. wildnewyork Says:

    Thanks!

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