The first cast-iron bridge in the Park (and the second oldest in America), the bridge was built between 1859 and 1862. Bow Bridge is named for its graceful shape, reminiscent of the bow of an archer or violinist. This handsomely designed bridge spans the Lake, linking Cherry Hill with the woodland of the Ramble. When the Park was first planned, the commissioners requested a suspension bridge. The designers compromised with this refined, low-lying bridge.
Today, Bow Bridge is one of New York's most romantic settings and a muse for photographers. Rising from the bridge are eight cast-iron urns, installed by Central Park Conservancy in 2008 as replicas of the originals that had disappeared by the early 1920s. A skilled team of Conservancy craftsmen used historic images and took cues from an urn thought to be an exact model of those that originally adorned the Bridge.