Central Park at night

Central Park Secrets

February 20, 20241 min read

So there are 1,600 cast-iron lamp posts in Central Park that turn on at dusk, enabling us to navigate our way out as the sun goes down. A serious must.

But did you know that there's another kinda-secret-but-not-really purpose they serve? We're directionally challenged here at the hotel, and love the fact that on each lamp post, there's a number at the base, created in the 19th century for workers to ascertain their exact location in the park for any necessary repairs. This navigation tool was the brainchild of architect if Henry Bacon, who also famously designed the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. We think the system is genius, because it now helps us 21st century folks who constantly get lost figure out where the hell we are. I mean, come on, the park is 843 acres and we can easily be flummoxed!

Each post has a four-digit number on its base that identifies its location. The first two numbers indicate the closest street that borders Central Park both on the East and West side. The last two numbers lets us know whether we are closer to the East or the West side: even numbers mean the East side while odd numbers let you know that you are closer to the West side.

Got that?

Say you stumble onto a post with the number 9703. The 97 would indicate that you're near 97th St. The 03 lets you know that you're closer to the West side. If the number's 9746, you know that you're still by 97th St. but on the East side.

We say Bacon was a genius!

Image via Boogich/iStock

Central Parkparks
Back to Blog