Central Park plays an essential role in the everyday lives of New Yorkers by providing 843 acres of paths, lakes and open spaces for escaping the din and chaos of the surrounding city. The design for Central Park was conceived by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux, who submitted their "Greenswald Plan" for Central Park during a contest organized by the Central Park Commission. When Central Park first opened in the winter of 1859 it was the first artificially landscaped park in the United States. Olmstead and Vaux's design integrated formal and pastoral elements throughout the park, offering visitors everything from formal walkways like The Mall and Literary Walk to the wild, woodsy area of the Ramble. Central Park is a great place for picnicking, listening to music and exploration. There are many fun, free events in Central Park, particularly in the summer.
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