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“In every man’s heart there is a secret nerve that answers to the vibrations of beauty.” – Christopher Morley

Designed by Calvert Vaux, the famous cast-iron Gothic Bridge or No. 28 was erected in 1864 near the north gatehouse of the Reservoir by 94th Street.  It was engineered by the J. B. & W. W. Cornell Ironworks.  It is one of the many simple pleasures in Central Park.

Form follows function perfectly in the arch bridge.  Elegance and grace, aesthetic qualities with emotional character, mark this footbridge that passes over a bridle path.  The structural refinement of proportion between the voids and the masses and the balance among the closed surfaces and openings creates visual harmony and rhythm.

The bridge spans a short distance of 37 feet 5 inches but packs a visual punch delighting the eye from nearly every angle. The open spandrels are a nice contrast to the voluminous swooping of the arch and the quatrefoil tracery pattern of the railing above.  The lateral pressure of the arched abuts Manhattan Schist from the park making the bridge a perfect component of its surroundings.

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Photo Credit: Jet Lowe