Richard Gilder Walk

This self-guided tour is dedicated to Richard “Dick” Gilder, Jr., a visionary philanthropist who grew up playing in Central Park.

His visionary philanthropy in support of the Park’s rescue was an expression of his love for New York City and his enduring confidence in the leadership of the Central Park Conservancy.

Dick viewed Central Park as one of the nation’s most inspiring innovations, a democratic space for all—and he was dedicated to building and supporting a management structure to oversee its restoration and care. In the 1970s, the Park was in a state of severe decline and lacked adequate oversight. To help remedy this, Dick co-founded the Central Park Community Fund. Led by a board composed of private citizens, the Community Fund sought to address the Park’s challenges with private funds and management expertise. That effort morphed into the founding of the Central Park Conservancy, the nonprofit organization that now manages, restores, and maintains Central Park in partnership with the City of New York.

Black and white photo of Richard Gilder and Elizabeth Rogers

Richard “Dick” Gilder, Jr. and Elizabeth “Betsy” Barlow (now Rogers)—pictured here at the Frederick Law Olmsted Awards Luncheon in 1994—were crucial to the creation of the Central Park Conservancy.

Throughout the Conservancy’s 40-year history, Dick continued to be a visionary advisor and passionate supporter of the organization’s work. His vision to use the Conservancy’s management expertise as a role model for other City parks has led to the Conservancy’s helping and advising urban parks locally, nationally, and internationally.

About the Walk

Dick took this beautiful walk from his east-side home to his west-side office. Richard Gilder Walk features Park landmarks that highlight Dick’s 40-year involvement with Central Park and the Central Park Conservancy.

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The Richard Gilder Walk was generously funded by Jill and Lewis Bernard.