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Prospect Park

Topiary: A Twenty-Year Project map_it


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

Visitors to the Prospect Park Wildlife Center are greeted at its southern entrance by several larger-than-life topiary sculptures of various animals. Artist Mags Harries (born 1945) designed the steel armature representations of a chameleon, a snake eating a frog, an octopus and five garden eels, which were installed in 1993 along the main court at the entrance to the Prospect Park Wildlife Center. The Korean boxwood plants used in the topiary project are designed to grow slowly over the course of 20 years, lending a dynamic quality to Harries’ creation.

The installation of this piece was sponsored by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs' Percent for Art program. Harries, a Boston-area artist, has works on display at Boston's Museum of Fine Art and the Boston Public Library, and also created a 19-site 35-piece installation along five miles of the Piestewa Freeway in Phoenix, Arizona.

Topiary: A Twenty-Year Project Details

  • Location: Prospect Park Zoo; north and south entrances
  • Sculptor: Mags Harries
  • Architect: Goldstone & Hinz
  • Description: Eight topiary figures with armatures of composed of rods and industrial grating along intertwining serpentine paths
  • Materials: Armatures--steel, aluminum (color-coated)
  • Dimensions: h 8' to 20' ; paths l 30' to 180' x w 12' to 25'
  • Cast: ca. 1993
  • Dedicated: October 5, 1993
  • Fabricator: Mags Harries
  • Donor: $170,000; Percent for Art, New York City

Please note, the NAME field includes a primary designation as well as alternate namings often in common or popular usage. The DEDICATED field refers to the most recent dedication, most often, but not necessarily the original dedication date. If the monument did not have a formal dedication, the year listed reflects the date of installation.

For more information, please contact Art & Antiquities at (212) 360-8143

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ParkProspect Park

The Prospect Park Well House is under reconstruction in order to build a new composting latrine. The park remains open while the building gets reconstructed.
Anticipated Completion: Winter 2015

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