One Of Central Park’s Most Historic Buildings Lit For First Time Ever With Nearly 18,000 Bulbs
On Monday, December 5, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined Central Park Conservancy President Doug Blonsky and the newly-founded Friends of the Arsenal group to light what is arguably the most historic building in Central Park. The display was crafted by Jim Conti Lighting Designs and features 17,920 lights that will glow through February.
This first lighting ever was a gift to Friends of the Arsenal by Jeanette Sarkisian Wagner in commemoration of her 40th wedding anniversary. Friends of the Arsenal was founded in 2005 to support the restoration, care, and use of the historic Arsenal in Central Park. Jim Conti Lighting Designs’ recent projects include works at 55 Water Street Plaza and the glowing topiary garden at Liberty Street Plaza.
The Arsenal is one of two buildings within the borders of Central Park that predate the park. Built between 1847 and 1851 as a repository for munitions, the Arsenal is a fortress-like structure, with a crenelated cornice and rooftop turrets. In 1857, the City purchased the Arsenal for $275,000, removed all arms, and established park administrative functions on the premises. Over the ensuing decades it has served as a menagerie, a police station, and the first home of the American Museum of Natural History.
In 1967, the Arsenal was designated an official City landmark. Today, the Arsenal is home to Parks’ central administration, the City Parks Foundation, Partnerships for Parks, the Historic House Trust, the Wildlife Conservation Society offices, and the Central Park Administration offices.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."