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Central Park

The Bridges of Central Park - Glen Span

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

When Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) and Calvert Vaux (1824-1895) designed Central Park in 1858, they developed an innovative interwoven transportation system of pedestrian paths, bridle trails, and carriage drives. Since the park is only one-half mile wide, the designers found it necessary to create a compact system of bridges and arches that allowed for separate levels of pathways. Vaux and his assistant Jacob Wrey Mould (1825-1886) created 35 unique structures, each with its own distinct style. They used brick, granite, marble, cast iron, and rustic wood; and fashioned rusticated gneiss boulders out of the natural rock outcrops. Subsequent changes in the path system led to tearing down three of the original arches and the construction of four others.

Glen Span, is one of two rustic arches that form the boundaries of the Ravine, a wooded area in the northern end of the park. Completed in 1865, the bridge was partially rebuilt 20 years later, replacing wooden trestles with rustic stone. The picturesque arch is made of light gray gneiss. The simple ornamentation consists of geometrically shaped stones and decorative grottos embedded in the underpass. Glen Span and Huddlestone Arch, the other archway in the Ravine, are slightly sunken into the park landscape in order to preserve the integrity of the forest setting.

Directions to Central Park

Know Before You Go

Ice Skating RinksLasker Rink (Temporarily Closed)

Lasker Rink is closed due to a refrigeration malfunction. Parks is trying to repair the rink's concrete slab and valves to identify and fix the source of the leak, in the hope of reopening the rink to the public later this season. In the meantime, the Trump Organization along with NYC Parks will work with the community and other area rinks to try to accommodate hockey and skating groups who call Lasker Rink home. Refunds will also be issued to any organizations who reserved and paid for use of the rink during the time that it will be closed.

Central Park Weather

  • Sun
    Partly Sunny
    54°F
  • Mon
    Rain Likely
    70°F
  • Tue
    Mostly Sunny
    54°F
  • Wed
    Rain Likely
    40°F

7-day forecast

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