Waldo Hutchins Bench

A memorial bench and sundial near Conservatory Water honors Waldo Hutchins (1822–1891) who was one of Central Park’s first administrators and also a lawyer, congressman, and assemblyman. At four feet tall and 27 feet wide, it’s the largest bench in Central Park.

Waldo Hutchins was a member of the first Central Park Board of Commissioners, a group of civic leaders who managed the design, construction, and operations of the Park. His son donated the monument to the Park in 1932. The bench was created by the Piccirilli Brothers, an important firm of marble carvers and masons, and the sundial by the American sculptor Paul Manship.

Two Latin inscriptions are found on the bench. Vivas oportet si vis tibi vivere meaning “One must live for another if he wishes to live for himself” is a quote from Seneca, the Roman philosopher. A small sundial at the back of the bench is inscribed with Ne diruatur fuga temporum, which translate to “Let it not be destroyed by the passage of time,” a saying whose origins are unknown.

One of the Piccirilli brothers, Atillio, created the sculptural elements on the Maine Memorial at the southwest corner of the Park and Paul Manship has three other works in the Park: Group of Bears, the Lehman Gates, and the Osborn Gates.

Benches for contemplating the landscape were a popular form of memorial for Park commissioners. There are two others in the Park, the Andrew Haswell Green Bench at Fort Fish and Charles B. Stover Bench in Shakespeare Garden.

Sculptural detail of the bench shows a woman form, reaching up.

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