The Happiest Place in Manhattan

Social media dubbed this area, The Happiest Place in Manhattan.  It is one of the most beautiful sceneries in New York City.   Way up in north Manhattan on a spot where George Washington and his Revolutionaries took on the soldiers hired by the British in 1776. It’s the Cloisters located in the Fort Tryon Park.

20181016 IMG_5839 7D Ft Tryon esmJohn D Rockefeller wanted to preserve a park area for the public.  Purchasing land along the banks of the Hudson from the early New York barons who owned the tracts, Rockefeller obtained 67 acres for his dream park.  He then purchased tracts of land in the New Jersey Palisades to prevent development of the area and protect the gorgeous vistas of the Hudson River.  Fredrick Olmstead, a son of the architect of Central Park, was commissioned to design and build the Ft Tryon Park.20181016 IMG_5835 7D The Cloisters esm-kcfloral

George Barnard was an American sculptor living in France.  He traveled throughout France collecting medieval art, statues and edifices.  Barnard developed extensive collections of 12th and 13th century panel paintings, sculptures, tapestries, stained glass and illuminated manuscripts.  Not being a very good steward of his finances, Barnard got into financial trouble and sold his collections to Rockefeller, including many architectural elements from dismantled abbey around France. Rockefeller and Barnard brought the art collections and the dismantled abbeys to New York and carefully rebuilt them in the Cloisters. 20181016 IMG_5776 7D cloisters arches esm

The buildings are a combination of medieval structures bought in Europe, shipped to New York and reconstructed on-site stone-by-stone, and new buildings constructed in the medieval style.  The grounds are covered by beautiful gardens modeled after what is known of the Gardens of Love and Paradise from the 9th century.  You almost expect Shakespeare to enter, strumming a lyre and reciting poetic prose to a fair maiden.

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The park opened in 1939.  Rockefeller’s dream came true.  Fort Tryon and the Cloisters provide the quiet, peaceful serenity so needed away from the 24 hour beast, New York City.

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Rockefeller gifted the Cloisters museum and the Fort Tryon Park to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And New Yorkers are grateful for the gift.

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Getting there:  The A train arrives at the south end of Tryon Park. 20181016 IMG_5865 7D subway 190 esm




10 thoughts on “The Happiest Place in Manhattan

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    1. Cynthia, Next time you’re in NYC you have to set some time aside. This area is the most beautiful and relaxing places we have found in the City.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Winters are cold here, but if that isn’t a problem, there can be some advantages… there are fewer people in the city, the snow is beautiful, and the store windows are decorated. If you come between Thanksgiving and New Years it is very crowded, but January is pretty quiet. For winter photos check out our blog: 2017/12/23 We’v just one more Christmas wish and 2017/12/18 Photo Essay Christmas window Shopping in New York, or January 5, 2018 Cyclone Snow Bomb. Thanks – JAM

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Didn’t exactly think “happy” when we walked through, but I did think nice, serene, peaceful, etc. It was noted by social media. Makes me think it may have been the Russians.


  1. Darn it! Never saw this, so thank you for sharing! Beautiful. Interesting. Keep milking your days, you two – bittersweet but such a wonderful gift of time from God. Really a nice job. ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

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