Scenic USA - New York

The Mall, Central Park

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Central Park Mall - New York City, New York

Photos by Charles Chessler
Charles Chessler Photography

     Despite the blowing snow and frosty air, New Yorkers love their Central Park any time of year. Giving the impression of a Currier and Ives holiday lithograph, this Central Park scene takes in the only straight-lined element in the park. Designed by Olmsted and Vaux, the Mall was viewed as a grand promenade or central drive, one of the first Central Park construction priorities. By 1860, a line of elm saplings lined each side of the 40 foot wide walkway. Today this magnificent tree canopy is one of the largest stands of elms that remain in America. At one time the tri-state area boasted many elm streets, Central Park Carriage lined with this beautiful tree. A devasting fungi spread by bark beetles, the Dutch elm disease spread throughout the residential streets of New England, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio, killing over 75 percent of all elms. Today, Central Park tree crews are doing all they can to preserve this marvelous stand of 150 year old elms. Tree crews have eliminated 25 infected trees on the park's north side, hoping to spare this special Mall setting.
     Central Park has kept its ranking in the top ten walks of America since 1997. Here in the Mall, visitors and residents find walking a wonderful way to experience Central Park. Horse-drawn carriages offer another nostalgic way to visit the park. Hansom cabs line up along Central Park South, between 5th and 6th avenues, offering tours of the park. Whether by cab or by foot, the Mall is still the place to see or be seen for the last 150 years.

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