neighborhood highlights

Must-See Central Park

by Heather Liang, 05/15/2013

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  • Conservatory Garden 
    Step off busy Fifth Avenue at 105th Street through the stately Vanderbilt Gate (the original entryway of the Vanderbilt Mansion at Fifth Avenue and 58th Street—now the home of Bergdorf Goodman) and into the six-acre Conservatory Garden, a stunning display of foliage and a feast for all five senses. The garden opened in 1898 as an E-shaped greenhouse; it was torn down in the mid-1930s after severe deterioration and replaced by the current garden. In 1981, the Central Park Conservancy stepped in and performed further restoration on the garden, which is divided into three sections. The north garden, done in classic French style, features a fountain called Three Dancing Maidens along with boxwoods, pansies, tulips and chrysanthemums. The central garden has a distinct Italian style, with a large lawn at the center surrounded by hedges of yews and pink-and-white crab apple trees. There is also a large fountain and a wisteria pergola, a beautiful setting that makes it a popular spot for wedding photography. The south garden is English in style and is the least formal of the three, with a bronze sculpture—the Burnett Fountain—at the center that depicts the young boy and girl characters from the book The Secret Garden (written by Frances Hodgson Burnett), along with various perennial trees and shrubs. The conservancy offers tours of the Conservatory Garden each Saturday morning and one Wednesday afternoon per month from April through October.

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