Thursday, March 5, 2015

Channel Garden, Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center is the symbol of midtown Manhattan.  A complex of 19 buildings and plazas, located between Fifth and Seventh Avenues and 48th and 51st  Streets, Rockefeller Center was built to be a “city within a city.”
 A narrow promenade separates tow building  in Rockefeller center - the British Empire Building and the Maison Française   in the way the English Channel separates the two countries in whose honor the buildings were named.   This promenade is named Channel Garden.



Two hundred years ago this place was the site of the first  botanical garden in New York State.  In 1801 Dr. Hosack,  a noted physician, botanist, and educator purchased just over 19 acres of land in the vicinity of today’s Rockefeller Center for $4,807 in order to create the  Elgin Botanic Gardens-  one of the earliest in the United States.  At that time it was a wooded area about 3.5 miles north of the city’s development.

At his own expense, Hosack landscaped the garden. He planted variety of indigenous and exotic plants.  The garden  opened in 1804. The grounds included a conservatory and two hothouses and were surrounded by a stone wall seven feet high and 2.5 feet thick.
 Six years later the garden was sold to New York State,   later was placed  in the hands of the Regents of the University (now known as SUNY Board of Regents), and was eventually abandoned, fell into decay and was later sold to raise funds for Columbia College.


In modern times, Rockefeller Center retains its own botanical appeal with its beautiful Channel Gardens. The Channel Gardens has six pools  each with a large fountainhead sculpture, designed by Rene Paul Chambellan, at its eastern end. The female figures are Nereids and the male figures are Tritons.
These  granite pools and fountains  are surrounded by seasonal floral displays. 



 By far, the most famous display is the annual Christmas Angels.  
But every season  It's always worth visit to see which plants  have been placed on display or to see the flowers in full bloom.
I had been working near Rockefeller center for last ten years and I made a lot of pictures of this beautiful place.