Bow Bridge (Central Park)

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Bow Bridge
Coordinates40°46′33″N 73°58′18.6″W / 40.77583°N 73.971833°W / 40.77583; -73.971833
LocaleThe Ramble and Lake, Central Park
DesignClassical Greek
MaterialCast iron
Total length87 feet (27 m)
Longest span60 feet (18 m)
No. of spans1
DesignerCalvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould
Construction end1862
Daily trafficPedestrian

The Bow Bridge/ˈb/ is a cast iron bridge located in Central Park, New York City, crossing over the Lake and used as a pedestrian walkway.[1]

It is decorated with an interlocking circles banister, with eight planting urns on top of decorative bas-relief panels. Intricate arabesque elements and volutes can be seen underneath the span arch. Its 87-foot-long (27 m) span is the longest of the park's bridges, though the balustrade is 142 feet (43 m) long.[2][3][4] While other bridges in Central Park are inconspicuous, the Bow Bridge is made to stand out from its surroundings.[5] The Bow Bridge is also the only one of Central Park's seven ornamental iron bridges that does not traverse a bridle path.[6]

The bridge was designed by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould, and completed in 1862.[3][4] It was built by the Bronx-based iron foundry Janes, Kirtland & Co., the same company that constructed the dome of U.S. Capitol Building.[7] The bridge was restored in 1974.[3][4][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Central Park Map" (PDF). Central Park Conservancy. 2014. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  2. ^ "Bow Bridge". Central Park Conservancy. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "19. Bow Bridge". Greensward Foundation. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Spiegler, J.C.; Gaykowski, P.M. (2006). The Bridges of Central Park. Then & Now. Arcadia. pp. 64–66. ISBN 978-0-7385-3861-7.
  5. ^ Reed, Henry Hope; McGee, Robert M.; Mipaas, Esther (1990). "The Bridges of Central Park". Greensward Foundation.
  6. ^ Heckscher, Morrison H. (2008). Creating Central Park. Metropolitan Museum of Art. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-30013-669-2.
  7. ^ "Bow Bridge". Central Park. Retrieved 2021-09-06.
  8. ^ "Restored Bow Bridge Reopens to Pedestrians". The New York Times. 1974-09-24. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-01-20.

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