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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 8:28 EDT
The Gates Central Park
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The Gates, Central Park

February 17, 2005

Brilliant orange squares line the walkways of New York City's Central Park in this Ikonos image. Taken on February 12, 2005, the image marks the opening day of The Gates art exhibit. The exhibit was created by Christo and Jeanne-Claude and features 7,500 gates draped with saffron-colored fabric panels. The gates straddle 23 miles of walkways that meander through Central Park, providing an airy golden colonnade to visitors. From space, the gates look more like marquee lights or an exquisite array of orange dominoes stacked in graceful curves through the park.

The scale of this exhibit is astonishing: 99,155 square meters of saffron-colored fabric, 96.5 kilometers of vinyl tube, and 4,799 metric tons of steel (equivalent to 2/3 of the steel used in the Eiffel Tower) make up The Gates. About 700 workers were needed to assemble the exhibit in the week prior to its opening. All of the material used in the project will be recycled after the exhibit is taken down on February 28.

The Gates highlights several popular locations in Central Park in this image, which shows the area roughly between 67th Street and 75th Street. The circular pathway around Cherry Hill was originally designed to be a turnaround for carriages. A fountain—meant to be a watering trough for horses—crowns the hill. To the east is Bethesda Terrace, the heart of Central Park, with the circular “Angel of the Waters” fountain in its center. The Terrace looks over the Lake, which is white with ice. Across Terrace Drive on the south is the Mall, the Park's central walkway, and one of its most visited locations. In the lower left corner of the image is Sheep Meadow, a treasured expansive lawn in a city where open space is rare. The large image, provided in the link above, shows the entire park and the surrounding city.