Design entry in the competition for a plan for Central Park, New York City
John Rink, a park engineer, submitted a colorful and highly ornamented plan dividing the park into whimsically shaped, symmetrical sections. Instead of yielding to the land's natural topography, the plan is dominated by formal allees and topiaries, and there is little open space beyond the required parade ground. Rink labeled nearly every element of the park including roads and entrance gates named after United States presidents and patriots. The formal gardens are designated by their shapes, like the Star Ground and Spiral Ground.
Rink submitted two versions of his plan: one in the required India ink and sepia (now lost), and this colored version, discovered in an attic in the late twentieth century. The plan has been displayed only a few times since the original competition in 1857.
New-York Historical Society Library
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Museum & Library Map
Floor plan & visitor information
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street)
New York, NY 10024