The Mall (Literary Walk)

A view of the tree-lined Mall

The Mall is the only deliberate straight line in Central Park's design, and among its most photographed spots. This quarter-mile promenade is flanked by towering trees and opens onto Bethesda Terrace at its north end, overlooking the Lake. The southern end features statues of famous writers like Shakespeare, earning it the nickname "Literary Walk."

Lining the elegant path is North America’s largest remaining stand of American Elms, whose interlocking branches create a stained-glass effect in sunlight. While many doubted that people of different races, religions, ethnicities, and socio-economic groups would commingle in a public space, magnetic gathering spots like the Mall proved them wrong.

At the south end of the Mall, statues on "Literary Walk" immortalize four prominent writers (a fifth statue, portraying Christopher Columbus, is the outlier). They are English playwright William Shakespeare, Scottish poet Robert Burns, his compatriot, Scottish novelist Sir Walter Scott, and Fitz-Greene Halleck, whose likeness marked the Park’s first statue of an American.


Mid-Park at 66th-72nd Streets

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