Before Central Park: The Cost Of A Free Park
Start writing a post

Before Central Park: The Cost Of A Free Park

No, I'm not talking about money.

Before Central Park: The Cost Of A Free Park

The bright lofty trees and perfectly trimmed grass of Central Park help paint a serene sanctuary in the middle of the bustling city of New York. But, have you ever wondered what Central Park was like before it became Central Park? There is no way there was just a massive, untouched forest in the middle of this concrete jungle, and there wasn’t, at least not all of it was.

The section near the 85th Street entrance was in fact apart of the concrete jungle. From the 1820s to the 1850s, there was a small community of African Americans and white working-class families that made up this area known as Seneca Village. What’s even more is they owned their own homes.

Owning your own property was a big deal during the 19th century. It was an even bigger deal when you were considered property by some of your white counterparts. Property owning was also a significant marker of a citizen. They were not just any landowners. The ownership for the residents in Seneca was five times the average of the rest of the city.

So, why is this ghost town pertinent?

First of all, pushing out African American homeowners to create a park is akin to modern-day gentrification. Moreover, the records of what happened to the residents of Seneca Village and their descendants are relatively sparse. The lack of information about the residents of Seneca Village reflects a common theme throughout American history, the erasure of African American achievements and culture.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

9 Things Tall People Are Tired Of Hearing

Yep. The weather is fine up here... I've totally never heard that before.


Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE being tall. Sometimes I even wish I was taller. One of the downsides of being tall however, is having to put up with ridiculous questions and statements. I can assure that all tall people are tired of being asked what the weather is like "up here", but here are a few other things we don't want to hear anymore.

Keep Reading... Show less

We truly love it here in the Badger State. Here are a few things Wisconsinites can relate to.

Keep Reading... Show less

Five Types Of People In Fall

From yummy pumpkin spice lattes to scary movies, fall has it all and then some.

Destination Logan County Illinois

Oh fall, the most marvelous time of year...right? Every approaches fall differently, some pumpkin spice-tastically and some not so enthusiastically. We can't all be Autumn lovers, so here are five types of people in fall. Grab a cup of hot coca, sit back, and enjoy.

Keep Reading... Show less

If you're like me, by this time of year you're over summer. The beach, the sunshine, and the heat were all great, but now we're itching for blanket scarves, football, and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING! As the new season approaches, your relationship can benefit from some old traditional dates and some new fresh ideas! Here are a couple great date ideas for you and your boo to try out this fall.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

Social Media Or Soul Media

To the generation that cares way too much about affirmation.

Emma Smith
  • This semester I am taking the ever so famous class, Writing 101. Walking into it, I had heard the horror stories about each major assignment. I have to admit, it’s not a class that I am fond of. But, major assignment #2 got me thinking, we had to create a research question based off of a topic that we are interested in.

Two weeks prior, I watched a very interesting documentary on Netflix. Miss Representation was recommended to me by one of my friends and I have to say the topic is absolutely mind blowing. Social Media and Female Body Image. How Social Media makes girls see this unnatural perfection of ‘beauty’ that really doesn’t exist. But female body image isn’t the only thing affected by social media.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments