Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, Central Park NYC

Hi Dear Folk,

More on our walk Jean and I in Central Park the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain

The Bethesda Fountain is one of the largest fountains in New York, measuring twenty-six feet high by ninety-six feet wide.

It is one of the most well known fountains in the world, and the statue at its center was the only sculpture to have been commissioned as a part of Central Park's original design.

This neoclassical sculpture, also known as Angel of the Waters, features an eight-foot bronze angel who stands above four small cherubim representing health, purity, temperance, and peace.

The angel herself carries a lily in one hand while the other remains outstretched, poised in the action of delivering a blessing on the water pouring from around her feet and into the basin at the bottom of the fountain. This is to commemorate the 1842 opening of the Croton Aqueduct, which supplied New York City with fresh water.

Angel of the Waters was designed by Emma Stebbins in 1868 and dedicated in 1873, at which point Stebbins became the first woman to receive commission for a major work of art in the city of New York. Stebbins linked the new, pure city water flowing from the fountain to the healing powers of the biblical pool, and quoted John 5:2-4 at the statue's dedication, saying

"Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called... Bethesda... whoever then first after the troubling of the waters stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had."

I like the Bethesda Terrace in the background, somehow it reminds me of India, it seems that there is a Minton Tile Ceiling in there, but we missed that.  Honestly to see everything in the Park you have to go quite a few times.

On the Bow Bridge.

Made of cast iron, it was designed in the  Classical Greek style during the mid 19th century by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould.  The bridge spans 60 feet with a walkway constructed of Ipe, a South American hardwood that turns a rich deep red when wet. In 2008, eight three and a half foot tall planting urns were returned to the Bridge through historic reconstruction almost 80 years after the original ones went missing and they are glorious. 

Also many people take their wedding photos here.  See previous post on Central Park

The Central Park Lake, is part of the "Greensward" design plan created by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux when designing the initial features of what would become Central Park.  It is the second largest man made body of water in the Park.

What is now a stunning and picturesque 18-acre lake was once nothing more than a large, untamed swamp. After its excavation in 1857, the Lake was opened for its first winter of ice-skating in 1858.  Until 1950, the Lake was used for ice-skating during the winter months and boating in the summer. After 1950, however, the skating rink was officially closed, allowing the Lake's former wildlife inhabitants to take up residence there once more. As such, the Lake is now an excellent location for bird watching, where one can spot swans, ducks, and even the occasional egret or heron.

I hope you enjoyed more of our travels in Central Park.



  1. I am enjoying reliving them. Especially interested to hear all the history of the things we saw. I like the link with the pool of Bethesda.

  2. It is such a lovely park, isn't it. I went once with Sarah, Tyler and Joe. There were many Korean wedding parties on boats. Evidently they like to take photo shoots there. We were on the boat when a quick rain storm came up. We were soaked and I was so glad I was wearing crocs. I love the photos and the one of you and Jean is espcially nice!


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