Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Walk in Fort Tryon Park

Fort Tryon Park in upper Manhattan was John D. Rockefeller's gift to the city of New York.  Situated on 67 acres, it has great views of the Hudson River, the George Washington Bridge, and the New Jersey Palisades.  The park was built by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., son of the architect of Central Park.

Coming up from the 190th Street subway stop, this sign at the entrance to the park greets you.


The entrance leads right to the Heather Garden of the park. The gardens are indeed a beauty.  Lots of flowering plants abound. I don't know some of the names of the flowers but they all look pretty. At the time of my visit, there were a lot of irises, peonies and foxgloves in bloom. Here are some of the flower pics I took.

The garden also has a great view of the George Washington Bridge.


There are benches at the edge of the garden. You can see a gentleman strumming a guitar seated on one of the benches in this pic, and alliums at the foreground. First time I've seen white ones as the usual alliums I see are purple in color.


Some of the benches have plaques, too. Here's one ..


And you can see Peter Bulow's Passing Glances ceramic art at the ends of the benches.  This one is called Winter.


At the end of the Heather Garden is the Linden Terrace where linden trees form a natural canopy.  The area also has great views of the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades. It is also a favorite area for weddings held at the park. 


At the entrance to the terrace are two plaques about Fort Tryon. One is a plaque dedicating the Linden Terrace as the David Rockefeller Linden Terrace.  This is the other plaque.


At the east side of the Terrace is an open area where the park flagpole stands. I like the base of the flagpole.


The area also offers you a great view of upper Manhattan. The hustle and bustle of the city looks so far away.


Coming down from the Linden Terrace, I walked by Abby's Lawn and went down another level.  There is a turn at the end of the path, opening to an area at street level for vehicles to pass through. The higher level, from where I was walking has great views of the other side of the park, as well as the Hudson River and New Jersey.


The path across leads you to The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that houses the museum's medieval art collection. Here's the museum taken from the park grounds.


Looking at the park map, I followed the path that loops around The Cloisters and came back near the garden area.  The park has several levels and I went down another level from the garden. That path led me to the arches of the park.


The Fort Tryon arches were originally a galleried entranceway for the driveway to the Billings mansion, Tryon Hall.  It is made of Maine granite and the arches were the main support of the road up the hill.  Total cost of this driveway back in 1907 was $250,000.00. Here's a picture of how it looked like before.

Photo credit: Office for Metropolitan History
According to the 1910 Census, C. K Billings listed himself, his wife, 2 children and 23 servants as part of the household and staff. Seven years later, he sold Tryon Hall and its surrounding land to John D. Rockefeller and transferred residence to Fifth Avenue. Unfortunately, Tryon Hall was destroyed by a fire in 1925. Only the arches and the stone gates survived. More than a century later, these arches still stand strong and beautiful.

  
There are openings on the side of the arches facing the Henry Hudson Parkway.


The front part of the arches ..


and the stone gates ..


From there are more steps to climb so you could get back to the gardens.


My view of the arches from the top of the steps ..


This is the terrace supported by the arches.


Then it's back to the gardens and the beauty of the nature.


As you can see from the park map I walked only the west side of the Park.  The east side I think are mostly trees and pathways, and an Alpine Garden near the Broadway entrance.  I hope to visit again, maybe by autumn, and walk that part of the park.

At the entrance/exit of the park is this sign.


All is good, the park looks as beautiful as ever.

For the rest of my Fort Tryon pics, here's the album on flickr - Fort Tryon


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