9. New York On Ice at Museum of the City of New York

Major & Knapp Engraving, Manufacturing & Lithographic Co., printer Empire City Skating Rink, ca. 1868. Color lithograph. Museum of the City of New York, The J. Clarence Davies Collection, 2 9.100.1544

Before Central Park was even completed in the 1870s, the lake labeled on Olmsted and Vaux’s original Greensward plan, ‘Skating Pond,’ was opened to ice skaters, and quickly became a big attraction. Ice skating was so popular that in the 19th century, a tradition of ‘raising the red ball’ on Brooklyn streetcars was created to let skaters know of favorable skating conditions in Prospect Park.

An exhibit focused entirely on ice skating in New York City is now on view at The Museum of the City of New York. Through vintage photographs, posters, lithographs, paintings and costumes, New York on Ice presents the history of one of our favorite winter activities and explores its commercialization as an elaborate spectacle as well as its role as a competitive sport.

New York on Ice: Skating in the City will be on view through April 15, 2018 at The Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, at 103rd Street. Related programming includes “What’s Next for Ice-Skating in New York?” on Wednesday, January 31 at 6:30pm, which will feature leading voices in the sport.