Saturday, December 19, 2009

The "Loeb Boathouse " in New York's Central Park

With their 1858 landscaping plan under construction, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux began adding architectural features to their Park design. Around 1874, Vaux designed a two-story boathouse at the eastern end of the Lake. Here visitors could purchase refreshments, take boat rides, and watch other boats. After this wooden Victorian structure with sloping mansard roof burned down, the current Loeb Boathouse took its place in the 1950s.

Today at the Boathouse visitors can enjoy a meal in any season, with overhead heating helping to extend as long as possible the pleasure of dining on the deck overlooking the Lake. More informal snacks are available on the outside terrace across from the bicycle rental concession. At Loeb you can also rent rowboats or take a ride in an authentic Venetian gondola. This is more than a ride, it is an "event" – with luck, your gondolier might just break into song at some point in the trip.

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