New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The Children’s District
When Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed Central Park in 1858, they designated the area south of 65th Street as the “Children’s District”. They deliberately placed features close together that they knew would appeal to youngsters: the carousel, fanciful rustic shelters and the Dairy, where toys could be rented and milk purchased. Children could thus move easily from on attraction to another.
You are standing under the loggia of the Dairy, the Central Park Visitor Center. Built in 1870, the Dairy offered fresh milk for city children as well as place to enjoy cool breezes from the Pond. Today you can pick up park brochures inside at the information desk, have questions answered about events, and enjoy exhibits, park games and tours.
Chess & Checkers House
Atop a large rock outcrop – the Kinderberg, or “children’s mountain” in German - is the Chess and Checkers House, with its indoor and outdoor game tables. Playing pieces can be borrowed at the Dairy information desk: indoor tables are available on weekends.
Ice skating and refreshments
Fifty-eight hand-carved horses constitute one of the United States’ largest carousels, a superb example of folk art built by Stein and Goldstein in 1908. The carousel is open seven days a week, weather permitting.
The Central Park Zoo has been entirely rebuilt, with realistic habitats which display animals from temperate, tropical and polar regions.
The site of one of three playgrounds in the original 1858 design for Central Park, Heckscher Ballfield now contains six softball diamonds.
The Cop Cot, which in Scottish dialect means “little house on the crest of a hill”, was rebuilt in 1985, following historic drawings for the summerhouse on this site. The Cop Cot is one of many rustic shelters which once crowned rocky promontories in the Park.
Fifteen acres of lush lawn are reserved for picnicking and sunbathing. Food and restrooms are located at the northwestern corner at the Mineral Springs Pavilion.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Parks & Recreational Areas.
Location. 40° 46.145′ N, 73° 58.425′ Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Central Park - The Dairy, New York NY 10019, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Transverse Road #1 (a few steps from this marker); Columbus (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); William Shakespeare (about 500 feet away); Sir Walter Scott (about 500 feet away); Robert Burns Statue (about 500 feet away); William John Liebig (about 800 feet away); Balto (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lehman Gates (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
Also see . . . The Children's District: Then and Now. Central Park Conservancy Magazine entry (Submitted on February 8, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 8, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 8, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 33 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. submitted on February 8, 2021, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.