Central Park was the first urban landscaped public park in the United States, but its lampposts are another notable detail. Architect Henry Bacon designed these cast iron lampposts in 1907, and included on them some sneaky tricks for finding your way around. Bacon put numbers at the base of each lamppost in the park. The first two or three numbers tell you the closest cross street. The last number at the base tells you which side of town you're closest to: if the number is odd, you're on the west side; and if it's even, you're on the east. Cool? Absolutely. Practical? Meh, only if your phone's about to die.
New York City's Central Park is famously ginormous. The park, which sprawls 843 acres and has a perimeter of 6 miles, is so expansive that it's easy for even a native New Yorker to get lost. But Central Park has a little-known secret, if you know where to look: its cast-iron lampposts can help you navigate the grounds. These 1,600 posts offer directional help in some quite sophisticated ways.
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