Frederick Law Olmsted
Central Park is a large public, urban park that occupies over a square mile (341 hectares) in the heart of Manhattan in New York City. It is host to approximately twenty-five million visitors each year. Central Park was opened in 1859, completed in 1873 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963. The park was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and architect Calvert Vaux, who went on to collaborate on Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Central Park has been a National Historic Landmark since 1963. The park was not a part of the Commissioners' Plan of 1811; however, between 1821 and 1855, New York City nearly quadrupled in population. As the city expanded, people were drawn to the few open spaces, mainly cemeteries, to get away from the noise and chaotic life in the city. Before long, however, New York City's need for a great public park was voiced by the poet and editor of the then-Evening Post (now the New York Post), William Cullen Bryant, and by the first American landscape architect, Andrew Jackson Downing, who began to publicize the city's need for a public park in 1844. A stylish place for open-air driving, like the Bois de Boulogne in Paris or London's Hyde Park, was felt to be needed by many influential New Yorkers, and in 1853 the New York legislature designated a 700-acre (280 ha) area from 59th to 106th Streets for the creation of the park, to a cost of more than US$5 million for the land alone. The park is the largest on Manhattan Island.