by Kevin Walsh

One of my favorite masonry or brick arches in Central Park is Willowdell, which takes  East Drive over the park path connecting Literary Walk and the Balto sled dog memorial (Balto was the lead sled dog who helped in the transportation of diphtheria serum across Alaska in the winter of 1925.)

Central Park is home to a couple of dozen decorative arches and wrought iron bridges, which take pedestrian or bridle paths over park roads. (For the first time by general rule, in 2015 Central and Prospect Park’s “Drives” no longer permit vehicular traffic excepting the four Central Park “transverse roads.”)

Willowdell was designed by Prospect Park co-architect Calvert Vaux along with Jacob Wrey Mould and was constructed in 1861. Notice the wavy figures on the keystone and corner stones, examples of “vermiculation” or “wormlike design.” It’s one of my favorite arches in Central because of its brick construction and older wooden railings on the roadway.

FNY’s review of Central Park’s arches



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