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[Bethesda Fountain.]Bethesda Terrace, 1870s. Photo by Augustus Hepp via Museum of the City of New York

A few years after Central Park was completed, Augustus Hepp, the head gardener for the park was commissioned by the U. S. Secretary of State William Maxwell Evarts to create a portfolio of images – which appear today in a striking blue color. These images, available in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York, were originally used to American politicians to “convince their Continental counterparts that New York was not just an industrial powerhouse but also a mature and cultured city that could create great urban parks on par with those in Europe,” writes Sean Corcoran from the Museum. These photographs were even given as a gift to the French government in 1879. 

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Spread across the five boroughs of New York City, the Fire Alarm Telegraph Stations stand in City parks as reminders of the City’s efforts decades ago to improve the efficiency of its fire fighting system. They are architecturally distinctive buildings set in bucolic park settings, with minimal signage to indicate their purpose. (more…)

The Roof Garden Psycho Barn Untapped Cities AFineLyneThe current Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The fourth annual, site-specific, roof garden installation, commissioned for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is now on view, and it’s the creepy haunted house from the movie Psycho. This summer’s roof garden commission is titled Transitional Object (PsychoBarn), by the acclaimed British artist Cornelia Parker(more…)

ArtsBrookfield Intrude Untapped Cities AFineLyneIntrude by artist, Amanda Parer

In the month of April, New York City’s exhibits and installations brings to the forefront pieces that ponder the state of our environment, and what we are leaving behind for those who will follow. One work lends an artistic eye towards leaving earth, with a fantastical view of our planet; another explores the meaning of self from the banners we fly, to the photos we hold dear. On the heels of Women’s History Month, you can continue to explore women in the arts. There will be art in many forms, from an upright swimming pool to a mosh pit. Spring also brings us back into our parks, in the form of an art exhibit at The Arsenal, a fort landscape exhibit at the Dana Discovery Center, and a DNA Totem Pole at the Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem. In your travels from exhibits to installations, remember to look both ways – so you won’t get hit by a giant bunny!

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Susan B. Anthony-Elizabeth Cady Stanton-Statue-Central Park-Fund-NYCImage via Smithsonian Portrait Gallery

Central Park is one of the premier public parks in New York City, recognized internationally and popular amongst both residents and visitors. Of the dozens of statues in the park, 22 are dedicated to men as varied as a 14th century Polish king to New York City Marathon founder Frank Lebow (the only statue in the park that moves once a year). There are no real women in the park, but there are statues to fictional ones – Mother Goose, Juliet (and her Romeo), and Alice from Alice in Wonderland. The Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony Fund seeks to change this by raising the funds to install the first statues to honor real women in Central Park.

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DSC08592Image via Flickr by Lucas

Who doesn’t love a fairy tale? Even pragmatic New Yorkers could not resist referencing the architecture of European nobility in the earlier days of the city. While many country mansions and manor homes outside of the city have a more overt reference to castle architecture, here in New York City there’s quite enough fairy dust to keep us curiously looking for more castles in our daily commute.

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