One of the most popular wedding spots with my brides and grooms is the Ladies’ Pavilion in Central Park. The little structure is at 76th and Central Park West, easily accessible by the street. The ornate gazebo-type structure comfortably houses 20 or so guests and provides some covering for a rainy day. The Pavilion reminds me a bit of a gingerbread house, with ornate cast iron details.
According to the Central Park Website, it is an excellent example of 19th Century decorative arts. Built in 1871 by architect Jacob Wrey Mould, it was erected to provide shelter for trolley passengers. It received a much-needed facelift some 30 years ago. Like the Cop Cot Gazebo, it lends itself to the analogy of the home being created by the newly married couple. The Pavilion provides for nice photo opportunities as it is immediately adjacent to the pond, with the cityscape (Central Park South area) in the background. The Pavilion has a sweet pathway leading to it, providing for a great processional walk for the bride and any attendants. An added bonus is its placement next to Hearnshead, the rocky point overlooking the water, another nice venue for photographs.
Hernshead, another popular open air area, juts out into the lake, with a flat “platform” at ground level and elevated rocks, about 12 feet above the ground (a perfect perch for exchanging vows!). To the great Mr. Olmstead who is responsible for our crown jewel, Central park, he thought the shape of the peninsula resembled a heron (hern in British translation). He brought horticultural attention to the site with herbaceous plants and shrubs and seasonal flowers including the blooming azaleas, a Mother’s day burst of color. In June enjoy the flowering Mount Laurel. The Hernshead was restored about a decade after the Pavilion. Photos of this sweet wedding are by Jennifer Sosa.