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Central Park: An American Masterpiece

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review: landscape books

By Sara Cedar Miller. Abrams, 2003. 256pp. £30

'When good New Yorkers die, they go to Central Park, ' the New York Times'architecture critic Herbert Muschamp remarked last year, as Olmsted and Vaux's best-known creation reached its 150th anniversary.With drug-dealers a lot less conspicuous than they were a couple of decades ago, and New York basking in much-reduced crime figures, the park - restored at a cost of almost $300 million - is more popular than ever.

Containing excellent new colour photographs taken throughout the seasons, well-chosen archive images, and an authoritative text, this book explores the evolution of the park and shows just how diverse in character it is; its architecture is a prominent focus.

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