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Explore Central Park’s oldest architectural wonders

Dating back to the park’s inception in the mid 1800s, these famous structures have unique histories few may know about

Central Park may have an overwhelming number of sights to see, but if history and architecture are your biggest passions, the southern banks of The Lake should be your first spot to explore.

Crossing this body of water is the iconic Bow Bridge, one of the oldest cast-iron bridges in the country. Built in the mid 1800s, the bridge was designed in Classical Greek style, and is known today as one of the city’s most romantic spots. (Don’t be surprised if you stumble on a couple getting engaged there.)

Just south is the Bethesda Terrace—one of the first structures built in the park—with a 26-foot-high fountain at its center. Situated within the fountain is the bronze neoclassical sculpture Angel of the Waters, designed in 1868 by Emma Stebbins, the first woman to receive commission for her art in the history of New York.

Perhaps the most stunning architectural marvel in the park, the Bethesda Terrace Arcade sits behind Stebbins’ Angel and features 15,000 multicolored Minton Tiles. These same tiles line the floor of the U.S. Capitol, yet the Arcade is the only known example in the world where Minton Tiles cover a ceiling.

Check out the video above for more fascinating details about Central Park.

Central Park

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