Central Park

The Daily Plant : Thursday, September 24, 2015

Pope Francis Visits Central Park

Today marks day one of the Pope’s two-day visit to New York City where he will make stops at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at ground zero, Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem, Central Park, and Madison Square Garden.

The papal visit to America is the pope’s first trip to the United States, and already, thousands of spectators have swarmed together to watch him proceed down the streets of Washington, D. C. where he landed first on American soil. His next stop is right here in NYC where he will be greeted by some 200 people upon landing at JFK airport later this afternoon. First on his agenda is a short procession along Fifth Avenue and on Friday he makes his appearance at Central Park for a cruise along the West Drive where 80,000 observers are expected.

His last appearance in the city will be at Madison Square Garden where he will perform an evening Mass for 20,000 people. And on Saturday, Pope Francis leaves for Philadelphia.


During the Pope’s historic visit to Central Park, much of the Park will be locked down and inaccessible to facilitate the necessary security parameters. The "frozen zone" shall be delineated by the following boundaries:

South: 59th Street (Columbus Circle to 6th Avenue)
West: Central Park West (inclusive of CPW)
North: 79th/81st Street
East: 5th Avenue to 65th Street (Center Drive from 65th to 59th Street & 6th Ave)

Please note Central Park West and all the side streets between Columbus and Central Park West from 59th to 81st Street will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic as well. Arsenal West should not be affected by the west side street closures between 59th and 81st Streets. The block will certainly be packed, so staff should have ID's with them at all times in case a decision is made to close the block due to overcrowding. NYPD and Secret Service will be making necessary accommodations on any closed blocks for people who live/work on those blocks.

Generally, this means if you normally come across the Park from the west side to access the Arsenal, this will not be feasible Friday, September 25 and you should make alternate plans to come to work via east side subway and bus lines.

As for vehicular traffic, the Closed East Drive will be accessible to vehicles from 5th Avenue and 60th Street ONLY. Vehicles WILL NOT be allowed to enter the Park at 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue or 72nd Street and Central Park West. Furthermore, the entrance located at 6th Avenue and 59th Street will also be closed to vehicular access but will be passable by pedestrian traffic.

Finally, all subway stations will remain in service and there should be no closures or skipped stations in effect. The only station entrance closure is the Columbus Circle Station located on the Park side of 60th Street and Central Park West.

Hope this is helpful, and please reach out with any questions or concerns. Thanks for your patience and cooperation, everyone.

Directions to Central Park

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