Bonus: Remnants of the Old Reservoir

Reservoir Wall in Central Park

Before Olmstead and Vaux got their hands on the Central Park site, a rectangular reservoir had been built in 1842. According to the Times, they felt “cursed” by the gawky thing and designed around it. It was filled in and covered in the 1930s but you can see elements when you walk by the 86th Street police station inside the park. You can even see the rock wall inside the new police station’s conference room. There’s also a historic marker near the Shakespeare Theater. Remnants of another reservoir that used to stand on 42nd Street can be seen inside the New York Public Library.

Untapped Central Park Walking Tour

Belvedere Castle

Read more about the Forgotten Central Park Casino and see what Central Park could have looked like!

Written by Rachel Fawn Alban with additional reporting by Michelle Young, Alexander McQuilkin, and Nicole Saraniero. See more photography from Rachel Fawn Alban.