Central Park: Great Lawn – New York NY


Though Central Park was originally established in the 1850s, New Deal workers carried out massive improvements to the park from 1934 to 1938. Work included the creation of the park’s Great Lawn.

The site was formerly the Lower Reservoir, which had recently been drained only to become a ‘Hooverville’ of people left unemployed and homeless by the Great Depression. With the help of CWA funding and labor in 1934 and most likely further WPA aid in 1935, the Parks Department had transformed the area into today’s Great Lawn by 1936, featuring 8 ball fields and a promenade around the perimeter.   (www.kermitproject.org)


Source notes


Rosenzweig, Roy, and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and the People: A History of Central Park, Cornell University Press (1992), pp.448-451.

Caro, Robert A., The Power Broker - Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, Vintage Books (1974), pp.368-372.

The Report of the Department of Parks to August 1934: Memorandum on 1935 Budget Request of the Department of Parks, NYC Department of Parks archive.

New York City Parks Department photo archive, negative number 14257.


Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on March 1, 2017.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.

Location Info

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64th St. and 5th Ave.
New York, NY 10065

Coordinates: 40.781375171088726, -73.9666168269531

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