Throwback Thursday: 12 Photos of Fun, Frozen Days in Central Park

There hasn’t been much snow yet this winter, but some could be coming this weekend, and it’s worth a look back at how some previous generations enjoyed the cold weather.

The Museum of the City of New York has a nice archive of historical New York photos and we found quite a few of a snow-covered Central Park through the years. Check out 12 of them below.

Skating, Central Park.
A girl and woman ice skating on a frozen lake in Central Park with the Dakota apartment building visible beyond. 1894.

Skating, Central Park.
Boys in uniform form a line on a frozen lake in Central Park. Visible on the left is the Dakota apartment building. 1894.

Parks - Central Park Winter 1896 Children Coasting.
Sledding in Central Park. 1896.

sledding 1897
Sleigh riding. 1897.

Central Park, About 1897.
Horse pulling a sled through Central Park. Around 1897.

[Ice skating in Central Park.]
Ice skating in Central Park. 1900.

Central Park Snow Scene
Snow scene by the bridge, shot by Irving Underhill. 1923.

[Central Park.]
Sledding in Central Park (does anyone know where exactly this is?) 1924.

[Eclipse as visible from lower Central Park.]
Eclipse, seen from Central Park in winter. 1925.

[Central Park and 5th Avenue at 60th Street]
View from Central Park over the pond towards 5th Avenue at 59th Street. Snow is on the ground and the pond is partially frozen. The Hotel Pierre, Sherry Netherland Hotel, Savoy-Plaza Hotel, Squibb Building and Plaza Hotel are all visible. 1930.

[Children playing in the snow in Central Park.]
Playing in the snow. 1965.

[Woman in snow, surrounded by pigeons.]
Woman in snow, surrounded by pigeons. 1985.

HISTORY, OUTDOORS | 18 comments | permalink
    1. Alex says:

      “Sledding in Central Park” looks like the boat pond

    2. Ang says:

      These are amazing. Thank you for sharing!

    3. Susan  Pane says:

      The sledding by the small lake might be the Pool at West 100th St.

    4. Linda says:

      ‘Sledding in CP’ is the Conservatory Pond at East 72nd
      looking north from Pilgrim’s Hill.

    5. Dave O. says:

      “Sledding in Central Park (does anyone know where exactly this is?) 1924.” – Looks like conservatory water, perhaps from Pilgrim Hill.

      The first thing to open in Central Park was the lake for ice skating in 1857. 40,000 people showed up the first weekend.

      At the time, ice skating was the only acceptable activity in which an unmarried couple could hold hands in public.

      At first, part of the lake near the Oak Bridge was deemed the spot for women to ice skate. But the ‘women only’ section quickly went away.

      • Beth G. says:

        I agree with all of this except that the Lake opened for ice skating in December 1858, not 1857. Construction on the park hadn’t started until April 1858.

    6. Barbara Mason says:

      Looks like the Model Boat pond in 1924 pic asking anyone know where this is? The sledding hiill
      Leading down to the pond has an entrance on 72 st snd Fifth Ave
      And wow that shot including the Pierre
      Sherry Netherland. — broke my heart when they tore down the Savoy Plaza b4 Landmatk Preservatio to put up the ugh GM bldg

    7. LIS says:

      The sledding photo is Conservatory Pond. But it looks so unfamiliar because the evergreens have matured and filled in the space.

    8. Carol M says:

      The pond you see at the bottom of the hill is The Pond located just inside the park at 59th Street and 5th Ave. Recently made famous by the addition of the mandarin duck. The photo was most likely taken from the East Drive facing west..

    9. James Caffrey says:

      This is the south side of the lake where they have the rowboats facing towards the west side
      Sledding in Central Park (does anyone know where exactly this is?) 1924.

    10. James Caffrey says:

      This is the south side of the Row boat pond facing towards the west side
      Sledding in Central Park (does anyone know where exactly this is?) 1924.

    11. Lynn says:

      Love the ice skating photo from 1900 with the Dakota and the building that must have preceded the Majestic in the background. Real time travel like Time and Again by Jack Finney

    12. Nancie March says:

      Coiuld The sledding in CP be the hill and the pond when you walk into park from 100th st?

    13. Robert Friedman says:

      I think he pond must be the one situated off of CPW about 100 Street. Amusing that other people are sure it is completely different. Can we all be right?!

    14. Catherine Friedman says:

      The pond off of CPW and about 10o Street.

    15. Joyce says:

      The sledding photo in question — Does anyone know where exactly this is? It’s Pilgrim Hill overlooking Conservatory Water. It’s one of the most popular sledding hills even today