Thursday, October 22, 2009

New York City Parks in Use, 1912 by Charles Downing Lay

Charles Downing Lay (1877-1956) was the first student to receive a degree in Landscape Architecture at Harvard.

"The modern landscape park, as we know, is a result of modern urbanization and its immediate predecessor was the royal hunting park, which, gradually surrounded by an urban population, was gradually appropriated for its own uses. In this country where all is new the parks were created abruptly because it felt that some sight of rural scenery was necessary for dwellers in a large city." Lay, Excerpt from Charles Downing. "Park Design and the Preservation of the Park Idea." Landscape Architecture (January 1921, Vol. XI, no. 2) 76-83.

Thomas Jefferson Park, School Gardens 1912

Central Park, Skating Lake, 1912

Central Park, Concert on the Mall, 1912

Additional Central Park images created between 1880-1912

Central Park, plan (Olmsted Bros. Dec. 1901), Louisville, KY

F. Law Olmsted was also responsible for layout of the Uplands, Victoria BC.

Central Park, aerial view, New York, NY

Central Park, aerial view, looking south, New York, NY

Central Park, The Mall, New York, NY

Central Park, bridge, New York, NY

Central Park, ball field, New York, NY


  1. Great Pictures Mr. Love the sepia patina in them.

  2. It's amazing that these photos are so familiar but so different! I loved them.