The Southwest Corner

Project Progress

  • Design
  • Construction
  • Complete October 2017
    Current

The southwest corner of Central Park is the most popular entrance to the Park. Our work on this area – roughly 12 acres – includes landscape restoration and infrastructure improvements, as well as restoration of the Park perimeter and comfort station.

The southwest corner of Central Park is anchored by Merchants’ Gate at Columbus Circle. This entrance is the most heavily used entrance to the Park with nearly 4 million visitors annually (or 10 percent of total Park visitors). The scope of the project includes the roughly 12 acres between the Park perimeter and the Drive, from Central Park South and Seventh Avenue to Central Park West and 66th Street. Our work falls into three categories: landscape, perimeter, and comfort station.

We’ve completed the following improvements to the landscape and perimeter:

Landscape

  • Expanded irrigation infrastructure to maintain lawns and landscape plantings
  • Reconstructed paths and drainage for enhanced accessibility and improved visitor experience
  • Restored lawns through regrading and establishing new turf
  • Planted small specimen trees throughout the landscape
  • Added seasonal landscape plantings at entrances, along the perimeter wall, and around arches
  • Installed new site furnishings, including benches and drinking fountains

Perimeter (West 60th to 62nd Street)

  • Replaced existing pavements and curbs, reconstructed pedestrian ramps, and installed new benches

The final phase of our restoration of the southwest corner will address the comfort station inside the Merchant’s Gate entrance.

The West 61st Street Comfort Station includes a women’s restroom and a men’s restroom. Built into a slope inside the perimeter wall of the Park, the building’s roof is a plaza off of Central Park West. It has not been renovated since 1980, and is closed in the winter because it’s unheated.

Work on the comfort station includes:

  • Upgrading mechanical, plumbing, and electrical infrastructure, permitting it to be open year-round
  • Repairing water damage and installing new waterproofing
  • Making the restroom ADA-accessible
  • Replacing doors and windows, and restoring the stone exterior
  • Reconstructing the roof and plaza, including refurbishing ornamental lights and replacing benches
Left to right: Restored area of the Southwest Corner; restored triangular landscape between Central Park West and the eastbound and westbound lanes of the 65th Street Transverse Road; West 61st Street comfort station before renovation
  • Our Process

    Restoring Central Park is a collaborative effort. Our team of historians, planners, landscape architects, and architects work in partnership with the public to preserve the Park’s original ideals while enhancing the experience for today’s visitors.

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