The cat and bird carving in Prospect Park

It’s hiding in plain sight in the middle of the park. But it’s lovely and worth looking out for.

At Concert Grove there is a long low wall—built in 1874 as a place where carriages could be fastened.

(Today it’s known as Harry’s Wall, after Harry Murphy, a co-founder of the Prospect Park Track Club—which designated the wall as a starting or ending point for races.)

At the end of the wall is a stone entryway carved with images of leaves, branches, and flowers—as well as a couple of birds, one who is currently in the sights of a cat, ready to pounce.

(Is that a cat? Not the kind prowling the park these days, at least)

It’s a lot like the stone carvings of Central Park’s Bethesda Terrace. No wonder: Both parks were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.

Central Park came first, but supposedly Olmsted and Vaux considered Prospect Park the better one.

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3 Responses to “The cat and bird carving in Prospect Park”

  1. LoriB Says:

    Cat? More like a rat, or maybe an opossum.

  2. azimuth Says:

    That’s a weasel.

    http://www.redbubble.com/people/dailyanimals/art/6680853-the-tree-weasel

  3. Michael Ring Says:

    Harry did not start any races there. The Park’s Dept just put the plaque there without really asking any one in the Prospect Park Track Club.

    We do have races there now,

    http://pptcblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/al-goldstien-summer-speed-series.html

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