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Guide to the New-York Historical Society Original Building Planning & Construction Records
1848-1946
 NYHS-RG 3

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on July 19, 2019
Finding aid is in English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Series II. Proposed Central Park Building, 1860-1876. 0.58 Linear feet in one bound volume, one document box, and one oversize folder

Scope and Contents Note

The series includes a rich set of material documenting N-YHS's eventually unsuccessful attempt to establish a Museum of Antiquities, Science, and Art on the site of the Arsenal in Central Park. The series includes the minutes of the Building Committee formed in 1863 to pursue the Central Park initiative. The minutes, which run until January 1867, have introductory entries transcribing earlier related documents, beginning August 14, 1860. Other documents include correspondence between N-YHS committee members, such as Luther Bradish, George Moore, and Charles Kirkland, and between N-YHS and the Board of Commissioners of Central Park, including Comptroller Andrew H. Green. There is one letter each from Frederick Law Olmsted and J.J. Jarves. Other documents include N-YHS resolutions, committee reports, copies of N-YHS's memorials to the New York State legislature, the 1862 legislative bill authorizing the Commissioners to set apart the Arsenal for N-YHS, and others. There are various summaries of the progress of events over the years, some in draft form, including an 1876 summary written by Edward de Lancey. The series includes one oversize 1865 advertisement for real estate and stock auctioneers Adrian H. Muller, P.R. Wilkins & Co.; the advertisement is in the form of a pictorial map of Central Park with surrounding lots.

Arrangement Note

The series opens with the minutes of the Building Committee (1863-67). The remainder of the series is arranged in rough chronological order. Some documents, though out of strict chronological order, were kept together as found because they were all supporting documents used at particular N-YHS or Executive Committee meetings; these are in order of meeting date. Also, documents were kept together regardless of sequence when it appeared they had been originally filed together.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Volume: RG3.1 Folder : - Minutes of the Building Committee
1863 June 9-1867 January 25
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Central Park Matter
1860-1862
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Central Park Matter
1862-1863
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Central Park Matter
1863-1864
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Central Park Matter
1865
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Central Park Matter (1 of 2)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a October 22, 1864, letter from J.J. Jarves to Frederic De Peyster regarding the size of various major European museums. The folder includes a portion of the original envelope that held some of these documents; an annotation on that envelope indicates that the documents were presented to N-YHS by Gen. J. Watts DePeyster on Dec. 17, 1907.

1863-1866
Drawer: 12A-B1 Folder : 21 Central Park Matter (2 of 2)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes one oversize 1865 advertisement removed from the above folder. The ad is for real estate and stock auctioneers Adrian H. Muller, P.R. Wilkins & Co. and is in the form of a pictorial map of Central Park with surrounding lots.

1865
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Central Park Matter
1865-1866
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Central Park Matter
1866-1867
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Central Park Matter
1868
Box: 3 Folder : 9 Central Park Matter

Scope and Contents Note

Includes a letter of October 3, 1872, from Frederick Law Olmsted to R. Martin proposing a meeting to discuss the N-YHS matter.

1871-1872
Box: 3 Folder : 10 Central Park Matter
1876
Box: 3 Folder : 11 Central Park Matter
undated

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