Like a Victorian confection reflected in the waters of Central Park's Lake, the Bow Bridge gracefully gathers lovers of New York in real life. In reel life the Bridge has been a magnificent setting in films such as Manhattan, The Way We Were and Keeping the Faith.
Crafted of cast iron, it was designed with Classical Greek refinement during the mid 19th century by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould. Found mid-park at 74th Street, west of Bethesda Terrace, the bridge spans 60 feet with a walkway constructed of ipe, a South American hardwood that turns a rich deep red when wet. In 2008, eight three and a half foot tall planting urns were returned to the Bridge through historic reconstruction almost 80 years after the original ones went missing.
The colors of the Ramble woodland change in hues depending on the season. Springtime heralds the delicate array of papery pink cherry blossoms from the aptly named Cherry Hill bordering one side of the Bow Bridge. And in the warmer months, rowboats propel gently underneath.
Photographers especially love to perch by the bridge for stunning shots of Fifth Avenue and Central Park West.
For anyone in search of an iconic New York moment, Bow Bridge provides the making of a great one.
— Linda J. Bottjer