Situated at the rich neighborhood of New York City?s Upper West Side, residents visiting Riverside Park, a narrow parkland, feel that they?ve already exited the busy city.
Spanning four miles or six kilometers, traversing the length from 72nd to 158th Street by the Hudson River, Riverside Park is undeniably one of the most beautiful places in Manhattan. It is a ?Designated Scenic Landmark? and since its inception has given jaded New Yorkers a tranquil place where they can relax to enjoy the peace and quiet.
Riverside Park was conceptualized in 1873 by the genius Frederick Law Olmsted who was also the mastermind behind Central Park and many other parks in New York City. Riverside Park features diverse landscapes ranging from beautiful arboretums to rocky cliffs.
Initially, the Riverside Park only covered up to 125th Street. The establishment of the park triggered the construction of several estates along the road which was covered by the park. Soon enough, numerous memorials emerged in the area. Due to its popularity, the park was expanded and spanned further to 22 blocks. It was enlarged once again in the 1930s when it was extended westward for another 148 acres. A marina, a boulevard and several ball fields were also added. In the following 70 years, Riverside Park was augmented by a number of small land augmentations. The park management has been constantly updating the landscape and the attractions for it to remain its pristineness and beauty.
Several remarkable monuments can be found within the park which includes the Soldiers and Sailors Monument along 89th Street. The monument which is carved out from white marble was conceptualized by Arthur and Charles Stoughton and pays tribute to the Union sailors and soldiers who fought during the U.S. Civil War. It mimics a Corinthian temple and surrounded by twelve Corinthian pillars. The name of those who volunteered in New York regiments are engraved on the monument including the wars where they were involved plus the names of Union generals.
There are other memorials within the Riverside Park including a memorial that commemorates Eleanor Roosevelt along 72nd Street, a bust of Joan of Arc along 93rd Street and lastly Grant?s Tomb.
In the middle of 90th and 91st Street, guests can find what is now called the 91st Community Garden. This beautiful pocket garden within Riverside Park served as one of the settings in the hit movie ?You?ve Got Mail.? It is maintained by volunteers who are assigned one plot to maintain each. Guests will find numerous species of herbs, perennials and annuals flourishing in the garden. It is accessible for visitors starting early spring to the latter part of autumn.
Today, Riverside Park is a preferred recreation, leisure and relaxation destination for New York residents who work and hold address in the city?s Upper West Side district. A skating and bicycle lane encompasses 75th Street to 125th Street and there are numerous venues for those who would like to take a stroll or go jogging. Visitors can also kayak for free.