New Yorkers are still enjoying their very special place to walk, play ball, sail model boats, attend concerts, and so much more.
In 1858, two visionary men entered a contest to design and build what remains today as a “vibrant jewel at the heart of New York City.” That is, of course, Central Park, and it was the visionary work and attention to detail by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted that created what is still an oasis of green. Opening with a double-page spread depicting the 1857 eviction of the African-American residents of Seneca Village, Yazdani then traces the white designers’ collaboration, plans, process, and success through an engaging text and a delightful series of digitized pencil-and-watercolor illustrations. The land was a “swampland,” and with a great deal of digging and planting it was transformed into a delightful place to ice skate in the winter or boat in the summer. Backmatter provides additional information about the two men, and in a Q-and-A, the author fills in further facts about the elm trees, the arches, and the African-American community forced from its home. Sharp-eyed readers are invited to find and count gray squirrels. Also of note is a double-page spread depicting the many bridges and arches that have been constructed. The parkgoers, both in the 19th century and today, are a diverse group.
For park lovers everywhere. (author’s note, bibliography) (Informational picture book. 7-10)