Scenic USA - New York

Bethesda Fountain

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Bethesda Fountain - Central Park, NYC, New York

Photos by Charles Chessler
Charles Chessler Photography

     Bethesda Terrace, designed to be the centerpiece of New York City's Central Park, began construction in 1859. Angel of the Waters statue - Central Par, NYC, New York Designed to be the heart of the park by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmstead, the site proves to be one of the most popular attractions in Central Park and remains as a Calvert Vaux masterpiece.
      Although the two renowned designers planned that nature would hold the upmost importance, Vaux and Olmstead agreed that the park needed a social gathering place, somewhere residents could mingle and escape the rigid structures on the city. One of the highlights of the Bethesda Terrace is the Bethesda Fountain, topped with the Angel of Waters sculpture.
     Unveiled in 1873, the fountain sculpture was the work of Emma Stebbins. When the sculpture was completed, Stebbins became the first woman to have a major Bethesda Fountain - Central Park, NYC, New York work of art placed in the city of New York. Cast in bronze, the eight foot winged angel was inspired by a passage from the Bible's Gospel of John. Written nearly two thousand years ago, the Angel of the Waters blessed the Pool of Bethesda, imparting its healing powers. The angel stands above four cherubs, Temperance, Purity, Health and Peace. During the summer, the pool below is redecorated with potted lotus, papyrus, and water lilies. So powerful as a centerpiece, the Bethesda name carried over to the entire terrace, initially called the Water Terrace.

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