Was the Central Park Dairy Ever a Dairy?

If you’ve ever gone to the Central Park Carousel or the Wollman’s Skating Rink, you’ve probably run into the Central Park Dairy along the way.

The Central Park Dairy

The Central Park Dairy, a Victorian Gothic masterpiece…

Built in 1870, it’s an exquisite example of Victorian Gothic architecture, with a little bit of gingerbread house thrown in.

The loggia (where Christopher Middleton’s Aunt B imagines herself playing in Central Park Story Book Two) is a masterpiece on its own (see photo below) while the rest is brimming with delightful details.

The Loggia of the Dairy

…and its loggia, a perfect place to escape from the oppressive heat of the summer, don’t you think?

Calvert Vaux’s greatest masterpiece is still considered to be the Central Park Mall and the Bethesda Terrace that sits at its head, but it’s buildings like the Dairy that, on a smaller, more intimate scale, show the real depth of his genius.

Oh, and yes, it once supplied fresh milk to the children of the city before becoming the information center and gift shop that it is today!


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