About Bronx Park
Guided by a belief in the restorative power of nature for all people, the nineteenth-century American urban park movement had its beginnings with the creation of Central Park in New York in the 1850s. By the late 1880s, New York City had purchased lands for six additional parks in the Bronx, including Bronx Park.
In the late nineteenth century a pair of eminent botanists named Nathaniel and Elizabeth Britton were so inspired by their visit to England's Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, that they and other members of the Torrey Botanical Club determined New York should also possess a great botanical garden. The 250-acre site selected in the northern section of Bronx Park had once belonged to the country estate of tobacco merchant Pierre Lorillard.
On April 18, 1891, the land was set aside by the New York State Legislature for the creation of a “public botanic garden of the highest class” for the City of
Today, its fifty gardens and plant collections contain more than one million plants including some 30,000 distinguished trees, many more than 200 years old. The Garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, opened in 1902, is the largest Victorian-era glasshouse in the
In 1896, as the Botanical Garden was beginning construction, the newly formed New York Zoological Society (known today as the Wildlife Conservation Society) was scouting locations for a new zoological park. Upon spending only an hour in
The Bronx Zoo opened to the public on November 8, 1899 with 843 animals of 157 species. Today, the Bronx Zoo is the world's largest urban zoo and features more than 4,000 animals of 650 species. Although its animal inhabitants, buildings, and staff have changed over its history, the Bronx Zoo, led by the Wildlife Conservation Society, continues its founding dedication to wildlife conservation and education.
Includes Bronx Park images.
Digitized copy of 1887 work by John Mullaly, known as the "father of the Bronx parks system." Includes illustrations and descriptions of Bronx Park.
Digitized copy of 1897 essay by W. W. Niles, from The Great North Side; or, The Borough of the Bronx.