Posts Tagged ‘Bethesda Terrace’

A whimsical Victorian fountain in Central Park

August 20, 2012

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]

The Central Park Mall in color in 1914

February 2, 2012

That’s what the postmark says, but the photograph the card is based on probably dates to several years earlier.

The caption on the back of the card notes that “here are the residences of some of New York’s wealthiest families.”

The birds and rosebuds of Bethesda Terrace

January 23, 2010

Split-level Bethesda Terrace, near 72nd Street overlooking the lake, was designed in the 1860s to be the heart of Central Park—a grand place of people-watching and socializing.

It’s the site of some of the park’s most beautiful features: Bethesda Fountain, the “Angel of the Waters” sculpture, and the tiles adorning the ceiling of the ground-level arcade.

But don’t overlook the gorgeous ornamental stone carvings on the staircases leading to the fountain.

British-born designer Jacob Wrey Mould created these whimsical reliefs of birds and foliage—a lovely reminder of spring and summer all year round.

 

A gorgeous day at Bethesda Fountain

May 6, 2009

Rowing in Central Park’s lake and gathering on Bethesda Terrace appear to have been as popular 100 years ago as they are today.

bethesdafountain

The fountain, unveiled in 1873, is topped by a sculpture called “Angel of the Waters,” by Emma Stebbins. She was the first woman commissioned to create art in a city park.