5. Calvert Vaux’s Drafting Set
The dapper field drafting set owned by Calvert Vaux, the architect who co-designed Central Park with Frederick Law Olmstead, is on display in the Port City gallery. The case is leather, with the words CALVERT VAUX NEW YORK embossed in gold. Inside, it contains a pencil, a wooden burnisher, and a drawing compass.
While Olmstead may have become the more household name in the last century, it was Vaux who actually persuaded Olmstead to work on Central Park with him. The success of the park led to the creation of a company together, in which they would produce the design for Prospect Park, Morningide Park, and Fort Greene Park. Vaux was prolific in his career, designing the American Museum of Natural History, the Jefferson Market Courthouse, part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the mansion of governor Samuel J. Tilden (now the National Arts Club on Gramercy Park). He also worked on design of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn with Olmstead and Stanford White.