A walk through the hushed landscape is like stepping into the center of an evergreen forest. Visitors will also find several picnic tables and the all-ages Pinetum Playground here.
As part of their original vision for Central Park, designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux planned a "Winter Drive" of pines, spruces, and firs that stretched along the Park's western carriage road from 72nd to 102nd Street. They envisioned Park visitors enjoying the sight of snow-covered evergreens from the comfort of horse-drawn sleighs. But the importance of evergreens, once plentiful through the Park, dimmed over time. By the end of the 19th century, when the original evergreen trees needed replacement, they were replaced with deciduous trees.
In the 1970s, native New Yorker and philanthropist Arthur Ross set out to return pine trees to Central Park. During his career in the pulp and paper business, Ross developed a passion for evergreens. He also believed the view of the Great Lawn was ruined by maintenance buildings on the 86th Street Transverse Road. To remedy this, he funded a modest planting of his beloved pines in the northern area of the Great Lawn.
Those original Himalayan pines are now 30 feet tall. The stand has also grown across the Park, as Ross has added about 35 trees a year with species from Macedonia, Japan, and the Himalayas. The collection now stretches east to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and west to the site of Seneca Village.