GREENGAP ARCH, Central Park

By SERGEY KADINSKY
Forgotten NY correspondent

 

Central Park is the least forgotten park in the city, but within it are numerous items that are off the public radar. One of them is the 25-foot Green Gap Arch, located near the southeast corner of the park. It is the only arch in the park that is not open to the public.

 

Formerly part of a bridle path, it later served as the western entrance to Central Park Zoo following the zoo’s expansion in 1934. Presently, the space beneath the arch is used for storage.

 

In the original park plans, the bridle path extended to the southeast section of the park. Presently, the bridle path terminates near Pine Bank Arch. The section running beneath Green Gap Arch was de-mapped prior to the 1934 renovation of the zoo.

 

The interior is used for storage at present.

For information on the other bridges of Central Park, visit the comprehensive Bridges of Central Park page from 2001. The historical 1895 photo is from the collection of Museum of the City of New York.

3/16/15


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3 Responses to GREENGAP ARCH, Central Park

  1. Richard Concepcion says:

    The reason the Green Gap arch is no longer open to the public had to do with the imposition of the admission charge to the zoo following its takeover by the NY Zoological Society (aka The Bronx Zoo, now Wildlife Conservation Society) requiring all visitors to enter the zoo at the Southeast corner of the sea lion pool. The gate at the Northwest corner of the zoo at the top of the hill overlooking 65 St. is similarly locked now for the same reason. Also, the bridle path route predating the zoo was probably part of the South loop that went up the East side of the park meeting the trail encircling the resevoir. The North loop of the bridle path is still intact.

  2. fred glazer says:

    This archway was part of what was the major east-west walkway from the Arsenal (where I worked in the 60s) & the Zoo to Wollman Rink and on to Columbus Circle. The reconstruction of the Zoo with the institution of admission fees closed off the walkways to west (through this arch) & northwest (past the polar bears). This arch has great echoes.

  3. Tom K says:

    I walk by this gate several times a week on my way to work. It’s set quite a ways back from the main path. Since it’s obviously a dead end it doesn’t get much foot traffic. The huge iron doors look forbidding and gloomy even on the nicest days.
    There is an actor dressed as “Big Bird” who works in that section of the park. Occasionally “Big Bird” will sit on a bench near the archway gates. I’ve always suspected that it’s done to get a few minutes respite from entertaining the crowd. People with kids will stop and look but most don’t bother to go up to the gate to see “B.B.”. There’s something about the setting that’s a little intimidating. Whenever I see it, I can’t help thinking of a caption like “Big Bird Guarding The Gates Of Hell”.

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