Montayne’s Rivulet, the only natural water course within Central Park that was preserved and repurposed, is fed by The Pool. This artificial lake is a flooded ravine located in the northwest corner of the park near W. 101st Street. It has a naturalistic appearance that has its most colorful look in autumn.
Around this lake there are brooks flowing into it that emerge from pipes concealed under rocks to appear as springs. Prior to the development of Central Park, the rivulet has its sources across Central Park West, in the Upper West Side neighborhood.
Last month the Parks Department and Central Park Conservancy announced a $150 reconstruction plan for Lasker Rink in Central Park. Described by the AIA Guide to NYC as the park’s most “disastrous” improvement for a modernist design that clashes with the Victorian appearance of the park.
Part of this ambitious reconstruction plan is the daylighting of a section of Montayne’s Rivulet that was covered by the pool in 1966. The rendering above looking north from Huddlestone Arch restores the view that Olmsted envisioned of the creek flowing into Harlem Meer.
The northernmost of Central Park’s lakes shares its name with the neighborhood to its immediate north. Harlem Meer occupies the former confluence of Montayne’s Rivulet and Harlem Creek, a point where these two freshwater streams widened into a brackish estuary on their way towards the East River.
In the initial allocation of land for Central Park, the site of Harlem Meer would have been excluded from the park, its untouched terrain would likely have been buried beneath urban development. In 1863, the park was expanded north to 110th Street, encompassing the North Woods, a set of abandoned fortifications from the War of 1812 and the marsh where the creeks met.
Among the hidden waterways of Central Park, the one that most closely resembles its pre-park appearance is The Loch, a creek that flows from The Pool towards Harlem Meer in the park’s northwestern section.
If you haven’t seen it without water, now is your chance as the path following this stream is undergoes reconstruction. Above is the Glen Span Arch, with a dried-up waterfall emptying from The Pool. Continue reading
With so much excitement surrounding the lectures, tours and sales of the book, now is a good time to look back at the process behind its publication. When the Viele Map was selected as the cover image for my book, there were a couple of runner-ups. Here’s one image that depicts the subject of the book, a hidden waterway disappearing into a manhole. Nature and city together in one tight photo.
It is a tributary stream of The Loch in Central Park, a constructed brook that emerges on the edge of North Meadow, flows beneath Springbanks Arch and down a ravine into The Loch, a stream in the northwest section of the park. Continue reading