Central Park Argosy

remarks & observations


At least half a dozen names come to mind in connection with the building of Central Park. Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux are perhaps the most obvious. It was, after all, their plan — the "Greensward Plan" — that won the competition for the design of the proposed park. But others contributed significantly to the Park's birth and development. William Cullen Bryant, painter Thomas Cole and landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing all played a part. Important as well are Jacob Wrey Mould and his mentor Owen Jones. Finally, for now, let me mention the name of Egbert Ludovicus Viele, who was the Park's chief engineer during its initial construction and who submitted a design proposal of his own that was past over in favor of Vaux and Olmsted's plan.

Viele was a civil engineer and army officer and was responsible for the famous Viele Map of 1865, which depicts, against an overlay of the street grid, the natural streams and water sources of Manhattan Island.

This list will certainly grow, but for the immediate future, let's plan to start with this handfull and consider, either directly of indirectly, each of these individuals with specific attention to their contributions to the construction and development of Central Park.