"This delightful early history of Central Park was written with considerable assistance from Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux and thus accurately reflects their intent in designing and administering the park. To Clarence Cook's insightful tour of the park and the handsome engravings prepared by Albert F. Bellows, Maureen Meister has contributed an intelligent introduction that explains the book's publication history, especially the roles of Cook, Bellows, printer Corydon Alvord, and publisher F. J. Huntington."
—David Schuyler, author of Sanctified Landscape: Writers, and the Hudson River Valley
"I love reissues of essential books with new forewords that provide the backstories of the creators.. Maureen Meister ...unpacks the personalities, prejudices, and relationships between the publisher, printer, author, illustrator and the designers of the object of their attention, Central Park, all of whom were interconnected in multiple, fascinating ways."
—Keith N. Morgan, Professor Emeritus, History of Art and Architecture, Boston University
"Clarence Cook is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand how the original creators of Central Park wished visitors to experience this first great public designed landscape. In her introduction, Maureen Meister reveals the interesting circumstances surrounding the book's conception and production."
—Francis R. Kowsky, author of Country, Park & City: The Architecture and Life of Calvert Vaux
"A Description of the New York Central Park by Clarence Cook was one of the first comprehensive guides to Central Park and it remains one of the finest. Albert Fitch Bellows's rich illustrations of the Park’s historic structures were an essential reference tool as the Conservancy fulfilled its mission of bringing the Park back from decades of decline to the healthy vibrant park of today. This book is a must for anyone who cherishes Central Park and understands its historic significance as a masterpiece of landscape architecture."
—Douglas Blonsky, President and CEO of the Central Park Conservancy and Central Park Administrator
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