Posts Tagged ‘Ice skating in Central Park’

“Central Park Winter”

November 25, 2009

Charles Parsons painted these ice skaters in 1862, during the park’s infancy. Ice skating was quite a fad among middle- and upper-class New Yorkers at the time. Even the little dog on the right is getting into it.

Later this painting was made into a lithograph by Currier & Ives.

“Moonlight Skating” in Central Park, 1878

January 13, 2009

This painting, by John O’Brian Inman, depicts a lovely nighttime scene at the lake in Central Park, with Bethesda Fountain in the background.

Ice skating became hugely popular in the second half of the 19th century. Skating clubs formed, and tens of thousands of New Yorkers would show up during prime winter days at the lakes of the city’s new parks.


Central Park officials had a way of letting skaters know when it was safe to go on the ice: A red ball would be raised from a bell tower in the park, near where Belvedere Castle is today. A red pennant hoisted over the middle of the lake, however, was a warning that the ice was dangerous.