NYC Streets


Since the early 18th Century New York has had a series of so-called gardens where the emphasis has been less on horticulture than on dining, entertainment and sports. Among the earliest of these "pleasure gardens" were Sackett's Cherry Garden, on Cherry Street, and the successive Ranelaghs and Vauxhalls. Originally, they were taverns with outdoor seating areas where patrons could play games, or be entertained by music and theatricals. As the entertainments grew more elaborate, structures were built to shelter them from the weather. By the mid-19th century the outdoor areas withered away or disappeared entirely. Nevertheless, large theaters and indoor arenas continued to call themselves gardens, as in Castle Garden and Winter Garden. This tradition is continued by Madison Square Garden, which is neither a garden nor at Madison Square. The Encyclopedia of New York City (Jackson 1995) has articles on the more important pleasure gardens. See also Stokes' index under "Taverns" and "Theatres."

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