The Mineral Water Pavilion In Central Park: A Treasure Lost to Time

Mineral Water Pavilion in Central Park

The Mineral Water Pavilion in Central Park shortly after the Civil War

Although it would eventually be razed in 1957, the Mineral Water Pavilion delighted the inhabitants of the city for nearly a century.

Clean water was a major problem for New York for much of its history. Several epidemics of cholera swept the metropolis throughout the early 1800s, costing many thousands of lives, so the advent of a ‘spa’ that offered pure spring water seemed like a gift from heaven itself and attracted many thousands of people daily till the springs finally ran dry.

The building was designed by Calvert Vaux and his associate, Jacob Wrey Mould, and was given a Moorish flavor, popular at the time.

Interior of the Mineral Water Pavilion

The Interior of the Mineral Water Pavilion…Can I offer you something to drink, sir?

In my book, Central Park Story, I resurrect the building and have it dispense mineral waters that are reputed to cure ‘all that ails you’–a stretch of the imagination but in tune with the way people generally thought about mineral water in the 19th Century.

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