Posts Tagged ‘Bronx Park’

Taking the 3rd Avenue El to the Botanical Garden

September 30, 2016

We can’t be sure that these genteel New Yorkers actually took the Third Avenue El to get to the New York Botanical Garden, a 250-acre cultural treasure founded in 1891.


But after the turn of the century, when this image was likely taken, there was no easier way to get from Manhattan to the Gardens or the new Zoo opened nearby in 1899.

You could say that the El, the Botanical Garden, and the Bronx or New York Zoological Park, as it was called, are all products of a great late 19th century push to improve city life and its offerings, making New York easier to transverse and giving it world-class cultural institutions—all of which we continue to benefit from.

“Boating on Bronx Lake”

May 1, 2010

Yes, really—this bucolic postcard from just after the turn of the last century depicts several New Yorkers rowing down a placid body of water in the Bronx near the newly opened zoological park.

“In this park there are two lakes, which owe their existence wholly to the Bronx River,” explains a 1912 New York Times write-up. “One is Lake Agassiz, of about six acres in area, and the other Bronx Lake, embracing 25 acres and nearly a mile long. 

“Bronx Lake is available for boating, and in 1911 the boats there were used by more than 46,000 persons.”

And the Bronx River is still used for boating, and parts of it look very much like this old postcard. Check out this parks department virtual tour.