The Tavern on the Green


Central Park, New York City (MapMaster, 2006)

The Tavern on the Green is a famous restaurant located in Sheep Meadow, in New York’s Central Park. In some way it can be referred to as an outstanding example of what can be done to preserve ancient structures.

By 1857 architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux won the New York City Design Competition for the Central Park, to be built in the Manhattan Isle. The large public urban park is more than four kilometers long and some eight hundred and thirty meter width, covering about 3,4 km² (843 acres or 1.32 sq mi).


Sheep Meadow (Haftthor, 2004)

Between 1860 and 1873 more than 500,000 cubic feet (14,000 m³) of topsoil had been transported in from New Jersey to cover the original rocky soil and transform it into fertile. By 1873 more than ten million cartloads of material, including soil and rocks which were to be removed from the area had been manually dug up, and transported out of the park. And more than four million trees, shrubs and plants representing the approximately 1,500 species were to lay the foundation for today’s park.

Grazing on the Sheep Meadow continued from the 1860s until 1934, when they were moved upstate to Prospect Park, in Brooklyn, since it was feared they would be used for food by impoverished depression-era New Yorkers.

The Tavern on the Green was originally the sheepfold that housed the sheep that grazed Sheep Meadow, built to a design by Calvert Vaux in 1870. It became a restaurant as part of a 1934 renovation of the park under Robert Moses, New York City’s Commissioner of Parks.
Between 1974 and 1976 the restaurant was much-enlarged, elaborated and revamped. Nevertheless elements of the sheepfold may still be recognized in the renovated Tavern on the Green, which declared in 2007 gross revenues of $38 million, from more than 500,000 visitors.


Beveridge, C.E., and Rocheleau, P., 1998, Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing the American Landscape, Universe Publishing, New York. ISBN 0-7893-0228-4.

Caro, R.A., 1974, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the fall of New York, Knopf, New York, ISBN 0-394-48076-7.

Rosenzweig, R., and Blackmar, E., 1992, The Park and the People: A History of Central Park, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY. ISBN 0-8014-9751-5.

Rybczynski, W., 1999, A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and North America in the Nineteenth Century, Scribner, New York. ISBN 0-684-82463-9.


The Tavern on the Green (J. Henderson, 2008)




No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!

Post Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.