Chi Siamo



Rassegna stampa



Foreign Rights




Central Park an Island of Freedom

Central Park is not only a public park but also a place of the imagination that speaks to us about the American dream and its contradictions, about the opulent America that celebrates the splendour of nature in the heart of a convulsive metropolis, and the excluded who find their precarious refuge in the park's meanders.

Central Park is a vast green area in the centre of Manhattan, always perceived as a public space for freedom and accessible without barriers, just as the landscape architects Olmsted and Vaux had designed it in the mid-19th century. An urban park designed for "ordinary people" and that, nevertheless, aspires to bring the original wilderness (when the island was inhabited by the Wecquaesgeek Indians) back to the heart of New York. It is precisely the all-American myth of wilderness that drives Olmsted and Vaux, inspired by Thoreau's proto-ecologist vision, to design a park that does not intend to tame nature, but rather invites the visitor to discover its wild beauty by walking along a maze of paths in which it is easy to get lost as well as to find oneself. Indeed, Central Park is traditionally that open space where it is easy to meet and to clash: it is no coincidence that it is here where the great New York protest demonstrations gather. A space of freedom, thus, that proves to be crucial to the understanding of an entire country's social history.

MARCO SIOLI teaches History of North America at the State University of Milan. He was a Visiting Fellow of the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Huntington Library in Los Angeles, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York, and the Library Company of Philadelphia.

All rights available