Conservatory Water Landscape

The area surrounding Conservatory Water has always provided a rich variety of play opportunities. Located near the busy East 72nd Street Park entrance, this landscape comprises many attractions and lends itself to social gatherings. From the 72nd Street entrance, the lawn sweeps down toward Conservatory Water, a model boat pond, and Kerbs Boathouse, the associated concession. Children and adults have sailed model boats here since the nineteenth century. The landscape includes Pilgrim Hill, one of the most popular sledding spots in the Park. In addition to the model boats and sledding, two storybook statues on the periphery of the pond, Hans Christian Andersen (1956) and Alice in Wonderland (1959), have long contributed to the appeal of this area for children. Perched on a giant mushroom and surrounded by an entourage of characters from the book, the bronze Alice is popular for climbing and exploring. The Hans Christian Andersen sculpture is the site of a regular storytelling program. Cedar Hill, a lawn popular for picnics and sledding, lies a short distance to the north. The area immediately surrounding Conservatory Water offers a range of activities, but it is also notable as a place for observation. The benches lining the perimeter of the pond are popular among adults and children. They provide a good opportunity for observing the model boats and for people-watching in general. From this vantage point, many also enjoy seeing hawks nesting on Fifth Avenue.