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Central Park

The Bridges of Central Park - Playmates Arch

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 had to create a compact system of bridges and arches that allowed separate levels of pathways. Vaux and his assistant, Jacob Wrey Mould (1825-1886), created 35 uniquely ornamented bridges of varying materials: brick, granite, marble, cast iron, rustic wood, and rusticated gneiss boulders, fashioned from the rock outcrops. Modification to the path system over the years has resulted in the creation of four additional arches and the destruction of three original ones.

Playmates Arch, so named because it connects the Dairy and the Carousel, is the most prominent features of the Children’s District. The arch carries the Center Drive and was built between 1861 and 1863. It is made of Philadelphia pressed brick, Milwaukee yellow brick, and granite, leading some visitors to nickname it the "tricolor archway."

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
    53°F
  • Mon
    Rain Likely
    69°F
  • Tue
    Breezy
    55°F
  • Wed
    Chance Rain
    42°F

7-day forecast

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