The “Gates”

When entering Central Park, one is entering through a “gate.” Though these “gates” do not open and close like traditional gates, the simplicity of engraving each gate’s name on the short wall surrounding the Park falls perfectly in line with the more humble and nature-central theme of the original design plan. There were originally 18 gates to the park, which emphasized important cultural values in the 19th century. Ironically many of the names were not etched into the stone until 1999, when the Central Park Conservancy decided to complete a project that was never finished. Due to additions of entrances into the park and some entrances being removed some names and placements have changed

There was much discussion as to how to name the gates, i.e war heroes, important men of the time, names of states. This was rejected and it was decided to name the gates after the workers who made New York City the great metropolis that it had become. More importantly, Frederick Law Olmsted felt that naming the gates after occupations and professions supported the North’s free labor system over the slave system of the South.

The original 18 names were: Artisans’, Artists’, Boys’, Children’s, Engineers’, Farmers’, Girls’, The Gate of All Saints, Hunters’, Mariners’, Merchants’, Miners’, Pioneers’, Scholars’, Strangers’, Warriors’, Women’s and Woodmen’s.

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