between 59th street and 110 streets in the heart of New York City, Central Park is
arguably the most well known of all the parks that Olmsted had a hand in.
Although he was the park's
superintendent, he had no hand in the call for a park. Andrew Jackson Downing was the
original force behind the park. He and his partner, Calvert Vaux were to submit a design
for the park. In 1852 Downing died in a riverboat accident and Vaux asked Olmsted to take
his place. In 1858 they entered the competition to design the park, with an entry they
called Greensward, which was chosen as the park's design.
The design of the park had many aspects that would become trademarks of Olmsted's designs.
There were winding paths, scenic views and large open areas for people to relax in.
Olmsted served as the chief
architect from 1858-1861, which allowed him to supervise the construction and to make any
changes that he felt necessary.
Olmsted and Vaux worked off and on with the Park's Commission on the park, but there was a
lot of political infighting and finally in 1877 Olmsted and Vaux were formally dismissed
from the project.