Conservatory Gardens, Central Park
The only formal gardens in Central Park, the Conservatory Gardens were created in 1934-1937 after the park’s former greenhouse was removed. Covering some six acres, the garden was designed by Gilmore D. Clarke, landscape architect to Robert Moses, then Parks Commissioner. Plantings were laid out to plans by M. Betty White and the construction of the garden itself was the work of the WPA.
Much damage to New York’s urban fabric has been laid at the feet of Robert Moses, and rightly so, but here his team created a unique and graceful place that is popular in June with endless streams of bridal parties.
The Conservatory Gardens were extensively restored in the 1980s under the direction of noted horticulturalist Lynden Miller and under the aegis of the Central Park Conservancy, a non-profit group that has done much to restore the majesty and natural beauty of the park.
Clarke’s highly extectic output included the Unisphere at the site of the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens.