Riverside Park topographic map
Click on the map to display elevation.
About this map
Name: Riverside Park topographic map, elevation, terrain.
Average elevation: 56 ft
Minimum elevation: -3 ft
Maximum elevation: 276 ft
Initially, Riverside Avenue had been planned to run in a straight line, which would have required a retaining wall and extensive fill. However, the area's difficult topography had come to the attention of the Manhattan park commissioners. In 1873, the commissioners selected Frederick Law Olmsted, a park commissioner who had also designed Central Park, to redesign the park and avenue. Olmsted devised a plan that would create a main road extending from 72nd to 123rd Streets, with overpasses at 79th and 96th Streets, as well as "carriage roads" to serve the nearby neighborhood. The park and drive together would vary between 70 and 150 feet (21 and 46 m) wide. Olmsted's plan, which also included designs for Fort Washington Park and Morningside Park, called for these parklands to be designed around the existing landscape. Olmsted wrote in 1873 that Riverside Park "presented great advantages as a park because the river bank had been for a century occupied as the lawns and ornamental gardens in front of the country seats along its banks. Its foliage was fine, and its views magnificent."
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