Harlem Meer, Central Park, 1859 -1860s

centralparkpromenadenyplThis is a rare photogravure Victorian/Edwardian era print of laborers taking 843 rocky, swampy acres and reshaping it into a man-made oasis of nature in Central Park’s Harlem Meer in stages in 1859 through the 1860s.

Central Park designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux named this man-made water body “the Meer” — Dutch for “lake.” It was a nod to the 17th Century European settlers who first inhabited the village of Harlem.This depicts a drive in the north end of Central Park, NY.

The caption reads: the location is opposite Mount Vincent. Now called the Mount, it is located high above the cove of the Harlem Meer at the north end of Central Park and directly behind the Conservatory Garden. It is a barren area that is currently used as the site of the Park’s chief composting operation (source).

Also in the vicinity are Fort Clinton and Nutter’s Battery, gun emplacements that had been intended for use during the War of 1812.

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