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Central Park, High Line Rank Among Trip Advisor’s Best Parks In The World

Central Park (top) and High Line Park. (Credit: Getty Images and Iwan Baan)

Central Park (top) and High Line Park. (Credit: Getty Images and Iwan Baan)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Trip Advisor list of the world’s best parks includes two New York City parks – one old, iconic, and so familiar that New Yorkers often just call it “the park,” and one new, innovative and mounted on an old elevated railroad rather than solid land.

The travel website compiled the list using review data from parks around the world. Central Park ranked No. 2 on the list, while the High Line ranked fourth.

The Top Five were:

1) Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia;
2) Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs;
3) Central Park;
4) Millennium Park, Chicago;
5) The High Line.

The 843-acre Central Park, of course, has been around since 1857 and is the most visited urban park in the U.S. The design for the park as we now know it was developed by landscape architects Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux.

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Further development of the park came in after Robert Moses was appointed as the New York City Parks Commissioner in 1934. Under his watch, the Wollman Rink and numerous playgrounds and sporting facilities were added, the Central Park Zoo was renovated, and numerous sculptures were added.

But the park experienced a long period of decline after Moses left in 1960, and bottomed out in a state of decay and danger so severe that in the 1970s it was considered a symbol of the city’s decline.

The Central Park Conservancy began a $50 million renovation project beginning in 1980, and today, New Yorkers and tourists alike flock to the park for events from carousel rides to carriage tours, and from Shakespeare productions at the Delacorte Theatre to summertime yoga and tae kwon do classes.

The High Line by comparison is brand new, having celebrated its fifth anniversary this month. The park runs for 1.6 miles on a former freight rail line above the streets of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District — from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street.

The old elevated rail track has not had trains running since 1980.

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The first section of the park opened in June 2009, and a second phase two years later.

Over the last five years, more than 2,000 tours, 400 school field trips and countless other visitors have taken in the High Line.

It also has provided a platform for more than 70 public art projects, and this summer also hosts free evenings of music and dance.

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