Literary Walk- Central Park, New York Card
When the Park was designed 150 years ago, the Mall was a place for park visitors to parade in their Sunday best. Today you might see visitors in jeans, jogging and exercise outfits, but it’s still the place to see and be seen. The Mall is the only straight line in the Park and is Central Park’s most important horticultural feature. The main attractions are the American elm trees. They form a cathedral-like canopy above the Park’s widest pedestrian pathway. These elms are one of the largest and last remaining stands in North America, and one of the Parks most photographed areas. Taking care of these living legends is a full-time job for the Central Park Conservancy’s tree crew. Each of the park’s thousands of trees are entered into a database, so they can be monitored by the Conservancy. The trees of Central Park have an important impact on the urban environment. They improve the quality of our air and water; reduce storm water runoff, flooding and erosion; and lower the air temperature in the summer. This is why Central Park is called the lungs of New York City. The southern end of the Mall is known as Literary Walk. The statue of Christopher Columbus is the odd man out, since 4 of the 5 tributes here depict prominent writers. Nearby are Scottish poet Robert Burns and his compatriot, Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott. A little farther north is Fitz-Greene Halleck – the first statue of an American to be placed in the Park. Ten years after his death, he was still so beloved that over 30,000 adoring fans came to the unveiling of his statue by President Rutherford B. Hayes and his entire cabinet. Today hardly anyone knows his poetry or his name, but everyone remembers their visit to the Mall.