The Mount

The area known as the Mount is the site of Central Park’s composting operation and is closed to the public.

While it looks unassuming, like many of landscapes in the north end of the Park, the Mount has a rich history that extends far before the Park was constructed. Its name references the site’s history as a religious community known as Mount St. Vincent, established in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul. They purchased an existing tavern building here, and in 1848 added a brick chapel and refectory, which were used as a convent for sisters and a boarding school. When the City acquired the land for the Park, the nuns and students were forced to leave, relocating to a campus in the Bronx, but the buildings were preserved for Park use. They were initially designated as office space for the earliest Park administrators and later as a restaurant and museum. The buildings were destroyed by fire in 1881, but the restaurant was rebuilt and named McGowan’s Pass Tavern, and this existed until 1917. The stone foundation of the chapel is still visible in the Park today.

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