The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir–a Billion Gallons of Beauty

The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir

For most of my youth, I was fortunate to be able to look out the windows of my mother’s apartment and see the reservoir in Central Park.

I didn’t care about its history. I didn’t care that it was a reservoir that supplied water to my sink and shower. What I cared about was that it took me miles away from the city and across imaginary oceans to places hitherto unknown.

I would take out my 80-power telescope and watch the winter birds that would land there by the hundreds, looking for a rare one and, as I grew older, would jog around its mile-long periphery to clear my mind of the cares of my life.

The reservoir wasn’t always this picturesque and beautiful however. The original one didn’t have the naturalistic edge that Olmsted and Vaux designed. It was square and looked awkwardly out of place in a city park. Fortunately, the older one was abandoned and the current one constructed to look more like a lake than a reservoir.

In Central Park Story Book One, Christopher jogs around it’s periphery on his way to beat Devon in tennis but it plays a more significant role in Book Three when it leads him on an adventure that even my childhood imagination could never have dreamed of happening!

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