Andrew Haswell Greene
Just west of East Drive at around 106th Street
Andrew Haswell Greene (1820-1903) was a 19th century New York lawyer and civic leader. When management of park construction proved too much for park architect Frederick Law Olmstead, Greene, who was president of the Park Commission, took over as Park Comptroller in the fall of 1859. While he managed to bring expenditures under control and saw the project through to completion, he was a dictatorial figure who was deeply disliked by the workers under his supervision and by the park architects.
Greene also had an important role in the formation of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Central Park Zoo, and the New York Public Library. In 1868 he recommended that the unincorporated areas and municipalities of southern Westchester (the Bronx), Kings, Queens, and Richmond (Staten Island) counties be consolidated with Manhattan to form what are now the five boroughs of New York City. His vision was ultimately realized with his drafting of the 1895 Consolidation Law, which took effect on January 1, 1898. Green was murdered in 1903 by Cornelius Williams, a janitor who mistook Green for the lover of a woman who he believed had spread false rumors about him.
On May 11, 1929, this bench in Central Park was dedicated to Greene along with five newly-planted trees representing the five boroughs of New York. It was originally located near East Drive near 104th street at the location of the former Mount St. Vincent's Academy. When that site was converted to a composting operation in the 1980s, the bench was moved across the drive to this location on the site of the former Fort Fish, which served during the Revolutionary War and War of 1812.
This obscure location seems somehow unworthy for such an important (if largely forgotten) figure in the history of the city. But it is, perhaps, fitting since he was, apparently, such an asshole. (reference)
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