Two architects have big plans for New York’s Central Park, in that they want to turn it into a sunken valley. Yitan Sun and Jianshi Wu both recently graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design, and together they won a prize from eVole web magazine with their plan to make the park “a hybrid multi-functional mega structure, not by building up, but by digging down.”
Their plan begins with the idea of digging down 100 feet and taking the park down as well. Then they would line the edges with apartments which would be covered with a reflective material, with the intention of brightening up the space.
The concept would create a ton of additional housing for the very crowded city of New York, and it would also offer a more reasonable way for more people to live within a view of the park.
However, despite the plan being a pretty interesting one, is not actually seem like a possible reality. There are pipes and subway lines underneath the ground in the park which would severely limit the possibility of dropping the ground 100 feet.
This is not the first time that Central Park has had an imaginary plan drawn out for its future. In 2009 the Manhattan Airport Foundation joked that they would like to turn Central Park into an airfield, referring to the park as the “undeveloped area between 59th and 110th Streets.”
Central Park is visited by 42 million people each year, thanks to its extremely easy in and out accessibility, plus the experience of being able to step completely out of the bustling city and into a quiet park. That makes it the most visited urban park in the United States. The park covers 843 acres, or about 3.5 square miles.
The original design for the park came out of a contest in 1858 to expand the small park that had already been there, and it took 15 years to complete. The end result looks natural enough, but it was actually entirely landscaped with the help of 25,000 trees, seven bodies of water, 136 acres of woodlands, 250 acres of lawns, 58 miles of walking paths, 36 bridges and arches, and 29 sculptures of famous people and characters like Duke Ellington, Alice and Wonderland, and Balto the famous sled dog. Most of the sculptures have been donated privately over the years.
There is still evidence in the park of some glaciers that melted away there 12,000 years ago. The Wisconsin Glacier left behind some giant boulders that are still there.
A new species of centipede called Nannarrup hoffmani was actually discovered in the park, and it’s one of the smallest in the world at less than half an inch long.
According to the 2010 census, 25 people called Central Park their home. Although the park officials say that no one lives there permanently.