Wednesday, February 16, 2005
NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF PARKS & RECREATION ANNOUNCES TO DATE OVER ONE MILLION VISITORS TO CENTRAL PARK DURING THE GATES
DATE: Wednesday, February 16th, 2005
EVENT & PHOTO-OP:
Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today announced that record crowds have visited Central Park to view The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005, a temporary work of art by New York artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Over one million visitors have flocked to the park since Saturday, when the panels of fabric were unfurled for 7,500 gates along 23 of Central Park’s 58 miles of paved pathways.
"Even a rainy Monday couldn’t keep local art fans, school groups and visitors from around the world from experiencing The Gates," said Commissioner Benepe. "We have never seen the likes of this—throngs of people in the park in the middle of February—that, in and of itself, is a beautiful sight."
"I have never witnessed so many visitors enjoying so much of Central Park, equally from 59th to 110th Streets," said Doug Blonsky, President of the Central Park Conservancy. "Our visitor centers have been catering to New Yorkers from every corner of the city and tourists from around the world."
The results of a count conducted by the Central Park Conservancy estimated that the park received 350,000 visitors on Saturday, February 12 and 450,000 visitors on Sunday, February 13. Crowds lessened with Monday’s rainfall but spiked again on Tuesday, with upwards of 200,000 visitors. The Central Park Conservancy reports that the park receives approximately 65,000 visitors on a typical February weekend day and the busiest spring weekend day brings approximately 250,000 visitors.
The Central Park Conservancy is also experiencing record crowds at its visitors centers, where official The Gates merchandise is being sold. All proceeds from the merchandise, available at eleven locations throughout the park, benefit Nurture New York’s Nature Inc. (a nonprofit supporting arts and the environment), Central Park and other New York City parks. Christo and Jeanne-Claude receive no income from the sale of the merchandise. More information on services and merchandise is available on the Conservancy’s website: www.centralparknyc.org.
The Gates is on display throughout Central Park from 59th to 110th Streets through Sunday, February 27, 2005. The Gates is entirely funded by the artists. It is free and open to all. Park hours are dawn until 1:00 a.m.
CONTACT: Warner Johnston / Carli Smith (212) 360-1311