Central Park: A Healthy City

1623 Words 7 Pages
Central Park was not always a place for people of all ages and social statues to enjoy a time of leisure. It was the foundation Vaux and Olmsted set with their park in their creation of a natural looking landscape, integration of architecture into the landscape and picturesque theory, and the enlightenment ideas they incorporated that helped Central Park become one of the first true public parks. After the parks construction the people started to shape and build the park into what it is today.
Central Park began as a commission project in which Vaux convinced the officials to hold a competition for its design because he really did not like the design by the Chief Engineer for the park, Egbert L. Viele. Vaux was native to England, the birthplace
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Many fountains are placed in the park which Voltaire would have agreed with to provide citizens with fresh water. Pierre Patte believed that a city is like a body. A healthy city should be taken care of like a body and there are several important systems. One of them is the respiratory system, a city should allow for fresh, clean air to circulate through. This was especially true in a growing city like New York. With factories being built everywhere and the natural landscape disappearing, it was very important to establish a green space for workers to relax and refresh. This was a place where the upper and middle-class alike could spend the afternoon. While Olmsted wanted the park to be seen and not “used,” Vaux encouraged people to go to the park and experience every aspect of it. Olmsted’s vision for people was for them to enjoy the park as tourists, through the eye. They should stroll around, silently, taking it all in. Signs were posted and even police were stationed in the park to enforce the rules he set. Some aristocrats did not think much of the park as it was just any other part of the city to them. They were more concerned with how much it would increase the property value of nearby buildings. They walked through it and appreciated the picturesque but did it quietly and very differently from the working class because they had so much more free time to do other things. However, other parts of the elite actually thought about the effect of the park on the working class. It would give them more clean air, free from the smoke of factories and it would draw them away from uncivilized activities such as drinking and gambling. The park would draw them out into the sunlight to get some healthy fresh air and experience Victorian architecture and culture. "The Central Park is the finest work of art ever executed in this country ... the exquisite forms of the ground in

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