Monday, February 17, 2014

Explore the Park's Hidden Decorative Flourishes

With so many visual delights, like the lawn in the summer and the Bank of America Winter Village in the winter, the smaller architectural details of the park often go unnoticed. But just because these flourishes are not the largest in the park, does not mean that they aren't spellbinding. We've already dished on bucrania, those odd cattle skulls found around the park. Below, we spotlight a few more details that you may not have noticed. Some of the details we found even surprised us!

These face figures are found on urns that sit atop the balustrades framing the lawn. These old men keep a vigilant watch over the goings-on at the park!

This planter, on the north side of the park, is carved with lilies and sweeping botanical flourishes. Now that's a planter full of flowers that will never go out of season!
This wave motif runs the length of the wall on the 40th Street side of the park, next to the New York Public Library.  
This caduceus, the staff with two intertwined snakes, is one half of a pair found on the south side of the Library Terrace. There is a matching pair on the north side. The caduceus, an ancient Greek symbol, signified commerce; this symbol should be no surprise, since the New York Public Library was built with funds from titans of industry, including John Jacob Astor and Andrew Carnegie. 

The larger-than-life lions who guard the entrance to the New York Public Library would be pleased to know that lion imagery continues in other parts of the park. This lion's foot is found at the base of a Library information sign, on the 42nd Street side of the park.

Vines decorate the base of a light pole on the Library Terrace. 

These are just a few of our favorites, out of many. Next time you visit, try to find these details for yourself--you might see the park in an entirely new way!

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