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Central Park in old photos: From camels in Sheep Meadow to a moon landing viewing party

Did you know that camels once pushed lawn mowers through Central Park? And that New Yorkers gathered there to watch the historic 1969 moon landing?

This National Historic Landmark, which first opened in 1857, has quite an interesting past.

Take a stroll back in time through these amazing old photos of Central Park, courtesy of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

The Mall, 1864

Newly planted trees line the Mall circa 1864.
Photo Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

Newly planted trees line the Mall circa 1864.

A camel and a lawn mower, circa 1869

A camel is hitched to a lawn mower
Photo Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

A camel is hitched to a lawn mower in Sheep Meadow, Central Park circa 1869.

The Obelisk, 1885

Scaffolding surrounds the Obelisk, nicknamed Cleopatra's Needle, circa
Photo Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

Scaffolding surrounds the Obelisk, nicknamed Cleopatra's Needle, circa 1885.

72nd Street lake, 1902

Ice skaters take a whirl around the 72nd
Photo Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

Ice skaters take a whirl around the 72nd Street lake in Central Park in 1902.

Concert on the Mall, 1905

New Yorkers enjoy a Sunday concert on the
Photo Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

New Yorkers enjoy a Sunday concert on the Mall in 1905.

Central Park Zoo, 1934

The Central Park Zoo is shown under construction
Photo Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

The Central Park Zoo is shown under construction in 1934.

Foresters, 1934

Foresters prune a tree near the pond in
Photo Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

Foresters prune a tree near the pond in Central Park in April 1934.

Bethesda Fountain, 1934

A view of the Bethesda Fountain from the
Photo Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

A view of the Bethesda Fountain from the top of the terrace steps in 1934.

Tavern on the Green, 1934

Waiters pose in the dining room of Tavern
Photo Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

Waiters pose in the dining room of Tavern on the Green in 1934.

Conservatory Gardens, 1937

A crew works on the Conservatory Gardens in
Photo Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

A crew works on the Conservatory Gardens in April 1937.

Sea Lion Pool, 1942

A bird's eye view of Central Park Zoo's
Photo Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

A bird's eye view of Central Park Zoo's Sea Lion Pool in August 1942.

Conservatory Water, circa 1950

A young woman sits on the lawn near
Photo Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

A young woman sits on the lawn near Conservatory Water circa 1950.

Dance festival, 1963

Revelers partake in a dance festival at Central
Photo Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

Revelers partake in a dance festival at Central Park in August 1963.

Moon landing, 1969

A crowd gathers in Central Park to watch
Photo Credit: New York City Parks Photo Archive

A crowd gathers in Central Park to watch the moon landing on July 20, 1969.

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