September 09, 2020
Central Park has been an iconic part of the city for over a hundred years. It brings one of the largest green spaces and a break from the miles of concrete and steel. But some don’t know that the park was not always there. In the 1820’s, the land was undeveloped. The park’s creation was commissioned on July 21, 1853. The creation of the park forced some communities out. One of those communities was Seneca Village, located between 82nd and 89th Street. The land was owned by many newly freed slaves, but also had other groups living there, making it an interracial community. It also had interracial marriage and wealth. The community started as freed Blacks brought affordable land with them. At the time, in the early 1800’s, only Black men who owned land were allowed to vote in New York. In 2011, an excitation of the land where Seneca Village was settled was done, revealing more about the people that lived there.
The City Hall station we all see now isn’t what it used to be. There is an abandoned section of the station, the original City Hall station. It can only be seen if you stay on the 6 train, after the last stop. Yes, they’ll make the announcement multiple times, but you won’t be kicked off. You may get some strange looks from people as you just sit there, but just wait. The 6 train will loop around to the uptown track. As it’s going around, you’ll pass through a large turn. It’ll be noisier than usual, but you’ll see a beautiful vintage station ripped from the early 1900’s, with stained glass and tiles. The station was one of the first to have electricity. In the early days of the subway system, this station was considered the crown jewel.
To celebrate the centennial of America’s revolution, Lady Liberty quickly became an icon. Until this day, she stands as the largest statue in the country. When the statue was finished, visitors were allowed to go up to the very top, to the torch of the statue. But in 1916 that ended when German spies blew up a munitions warehouse on Black Tom Island. Shrapnel was sent across the river, over two thousand feet, damaging the skirt and torch. The explosion was so powerful that it damaged windows on 5th Ave, hundreds were injured. Since then, the torch has been closed to the public.