The elms, with their vast cathedral aisles, constitute the most imposing feature of the Central Park, and they are by far the finest thing New York has to show for trees. The Mall statues near the lower end are: replica of Sunol's Columbus, which stands on the Prado in Madrid; Shakespeare, by J. Q. A. Ward; Burns and Scott, by Steele, presented by resident Scotchmen; Fitz-Greene Halleck, by Wilson MacDonald. On the lawns west of the Mall are Ward's "Indian Hunter" and Fratin's "Eagles and Goat." A colossal bust of Beethoven faces the music stand near the north end of the Mall, where concerts are given on Saturday and Sunday afternoons in summer.
The Mall terminates at the Terrace, which overlooks the Lake, and with its stairways, elaborately carved with fruits and flowers and birds, is the chief architectural adornment of the Central Park. Broad flights of steps lead down to an esplanade, in the center of which is the BETHESDA FOUNTAIN, designed by Emma Stebbins; the central figure represents the angel of the Pool of Bethesda; the smaller figures typify Health, Peace, Temperance and Purity. The pleasure boats may be taken here or at the boat house near by for a trip around the Lake. From the Fountain, taking the walk to the left, following the Lake shore and crossing the Bow Bridge, we come to the Ramble, whose winding paths lead to the lower Croton Reservoir. At the southwest corner of the Reservoir, on the highest point of land in the Central Park, stands the Belvedere, whose tower gives a wide outlook over the Park and its surroundings. The prospect takes in the two reservoirs, St. Luke's Hospital in the north, the Palisades of the Hudson in the west and the hills of Long Island in the east. Skirting the Reservoir, we come to the Obelisk, which stands on a knoll by the East Drive, near the Museum of Art.The walk going northwest from the Museum and crossing the Drive leads to the upper Croton Reservoir, which is the retaining reservoir, the lower being the receiving reservoir.
The two cover an area of 143 acres, and have a capacity of 1,180,000,000 gallons. The water is brought from the High Bridge aqueduct over the Harlem River, coming from the Croton watershed, forty miles north of the city in Westchester county. The wall around the upper Reservoir is a favorite promenade, giving many fine water views with the Central Park surroundings and the near and distant towers and spires of the city. The upper Reservoir is the body of water in the Park best worth seeing. The lakes and ponds in the Park comprise: The Lake, already referred to; pleasure boats ply on it, fare 10 cents, children 5 cents. The Pond, near the south end, between Fifth and Sixth avenues. Conservatory Water, near the East 72d street gate; an oval Pond on which incipient America's Cup defenders sail their boats; this is one of the most charming bits of the Park. Near by is the Lily Pond, in which are grown many varieties of water lilies. In the northern part are the Harlem Mere, the Pool and the diminutive Loch. In the west, near the 79th street gate, is a small pond, which is the home of numerous interesting water fowl. The swans on the Lake are an ever-attractive feature.
THE MENAGERIE, at Fifth avenue and 64th street, has collections of birds, animals and reptiles, in buildings and cages surrounding the old Arsenal. There are elephants, lions, tigers, bears, hippopotami, tapir, deer, elk, monkeys, eagles, ostriches and other birds, alligators and various other specimens, the collection being usually augmented in winter by circus animals loaned to the city. The gray squirrels, found everywhere in the Park, sometimes become so numerous as to be a pest requiring abatement.
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