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Central Park: The Grand Vision

Greyshot Arch
Pine Bank Arch
Dalehead Arch
Riftstone Arch
Eaglevale Bridge
Balcony Bridge
Bank Rock Bridge
Ramble Arch
Winterdale Arch
Dipway Arch
Driprock Arch
Playmates Arch
Gapstow Bridge
Inscope Arch
Green Gap Arch
Denesmouth Arch
Willowdell Arch
The Terrace Bridge
Bow Bridge
Trefoil Arch
Glade Arch
Greywacke Arch
Southeast Reservoir Bridge
Reservoir Bridge Southwest
Claremont Arch
Gothic Bridge
Springbanks Arch
Glen Span
Huddlestone Arch
Mountcliff Arch


Spur Rock Arch Marble Arch Outset Arch


Bridges of Central Park
Ornamental Bridges and Archways


Playmates Arch is a stone and brick masonry structure located just south of the 65th Street transverse. It was designed by Calvert Vaux, detailed by Jacob Wrey Mould and completed by 1863. It continues a pedestrian walkway between the Dairy and the Carousel and also serves as a bridge for the Center Drive.

Playmates Arch is one of the most ornate masonry structures in Central Park with its characteristic Philadelphia pressed brick and Milwaukee yellow brick-belt coursing and granite trim. In his description of Central Park in 1864, Frederick B. Perkins called Playmates the "tricolored archway." The span is 17 feet 8 inches wide, and 9 feet 11 inches high. The underpass is 66 feet long.

The original cast-iron railing only remains on the east side of the drive. The railing on the west side, destroyed in an auto accident, was replaced with a duplicate cast-iron railing in 1989. This was part of the overall restoration of the Arch by the Parks Department, under the supervision of the Central Park Conservancy. Cast-iron railings, readily available in 1863, are now regarded as special, surviving ornaments.

Playmates derived its name partly from its proximity to a number of major park attractions devoted to children: the Dairy, which once served fresh milk and other refreshments, the Kinderberg, a huge rustic shelter replaced in the 1930s by the Chess and Checkers House, a Children's Cottage, with live animals, and the nearby Carousel. The present Carousel is the latest in a line of three earlier machines in Central Park.

"Archway for the Foot Path under Drive East of the Play Ground." Lithograph. Eighth Annual Report, Central Park, for 1864.

Carousel in Central Park. Appleton's Journal, August 3, 1872. The New York Public Library.

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