Less well known that its larger NYC Olmsted park peers, Morningside Park was nevertheless considered by Samuel Parsons, Superintendent of Parks at the time of its completion, as “perhaps the most consummate piece of art that [Calvert Vaux] ever created.”
That’s certainly high praise for a work by this partner in perhaps the most revered landscape design team in US history – Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who together designed New York City’s Fort Greene Park, Central Park, Prospect Park, portions of Riverside Park and many parks in across the United States.
Completed in 1895, the year of Calvert Vaux’s death, this 30 acre park is the final Olmsted and Vaux design collaboration to be completed while they both lived. It also remains arguably the most intact of all of Olmsted and Vaux’s New York City designs.
In 2008 the park was named a Scenic Landmark of New York City. It is one of only 11 such designations in the city. At the time, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission noted that the park had deserved that coveted designation years earlier. The LPC designation report for Morningside Park is comprehensive and well worth reading.
This special tour of the park on the 200th anniversary of Frederick Law Olmsted’s birth explores the design challenge Olmsted and Vaux encountered, the changed urban landscape they had to contend with over the long years of planning and execution (1873-1895) and the brilliant execution of their final design.
We look forward to welcoming you to Morningside Park!