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Central Park

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Central Park in New York City (looking south, from the middle of the park, to the Empire State Building, at top).
NASA Manhattan.jpg Central Park New York City.svg
Central Park in the central area of Manhattan (right-click each picture to enlarge). The borders are 59th to 110th Street, Eighth Avenue and Fifth Ave. (south, north, west, east).

Central Park is a large public park in the borough of Manhattan in New York City (U.S.A.). Central Park has about thirty-five million visitors every year. It is the most visited city park in the United States.[1] The park contains lakes, a castle, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Central Park Zoo.[2] The park has been shown in many movies and television programs.

It is 2.5 miles (4 km) long between 59th Street (Central Park South) and 110th Street (Central Park North), and is 0.5 miles (0.8 km) wide between Fifth Avenue and Central Park West. It is similar in size to San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, Chicago's Lincoln Park, Vancouver's Stanley Park, or Munich's Englischer Garten. It lies between the New York Theater District, Harlem (north), Upper West Side, and the Upper East Side.

Central Park is bordered on the north by West 110th Street, on the south by West 59th Street, on the west by Eighth Avenue, and on the east by Fifth Avenue. Along the park's borders however, these are known as Central Park North, Central Park South, and Central Park West, respectively. Only Fifth Avenue retains its name as the eastern border of the park. Each of the twenty gates on these streets has a name.[3]

The park is bigger than Monaco[4] and Vatican City, though some other parks in the city are even larger.


The park initially opened in 1857, enlarged to cover 843 acres (1.317 sq mi; 3.41 km2) of city-owned land. In 1858, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won a design competition to improve and expand the park with a plan they entitled the Greensward Plan. Construction began the same year and was completed in 1873.

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963, the park is currently managed by the Central Park Conservancy under contract with the city government. The Conservancy is a nonprofit organization that contributes 85% of Central Park's $25 million dollar annual budget, and employs 80% of the park's maintenance staff.

In popular culture

Central Park has been mentioned in thousands of books, films, and TV shows. In the U.S. TV show "Friends" (1994-2004), the coffee shop, where the friends often gathered, was named "Central Perk" as a pun on the term "coffee percolator" (a type of pot used to brew coffee.