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Izaya Abdurakhmanov

Gregory Zhenin

MHC 100 Arts in NYC

Personal Response to Fort Tryon Park

While pondering on what the subject of our architectural research should be, Greg issued a suggestion. Izaya had never heard of Fort Tryon Park nor of the general area of Washington Heights. Greg decided that Izaya should be enlightened.  Having grown up in the area, Greg was well aware of the beauty and majesty of the park as well as the Cloisters Museum situated within it. He informed Izaya of this little known architectural marvel within our city, and so the journey began.

Upon stepping into the park, our breaths were taken away by the awe-inspiring beauty of the gardens planted along the left side of the central walkway.  We proceeded down this main path, observing the various flora and fauna. To the right were interspersed wooden benches elevated on stone steppes, which allowed people to rest and admire the flowers in front of them.  The central walkway led directly to a stone staircase that opened up to a layered terrace with a great view of the George Washington Bridge and the New Jersey Palisades.  There were many benches arranged in semi circles, all facing the view.  As we proceeded along our path, we crossed a bridge to another terrace with a large flag pole bearing the American flag in the center.  From that terrace there was a great view of uptown Manhattan that we thoroughly enjoyed. We both thought that the juxtaposition between the view of the city and the view of the Hudson River and Palisades was very interesting, tying the past with the present.  After soaking in the best of both worlds, city and nature, we went back down the way we came but turned off the central walkway and onto Allison’s Walk which had beautiful gardens to either side.

A memorable scene was when came across a gargantuan structure, which we called “the castle entrance” because it looked exactly like a medieval entrance to a castle. The entrance towered above the lower walkways, which enhanced the magnificent presence of the park. But of course, there was yet another segment of the park which was even more mouth opening. The Cloisters, which is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, looked like a miniature castle from the outside and inside it was like a replication of a monastery several centuries old. It was dark and gloomy on some levels, which made it seem as if we were actually inside a monastery. However, there were also doors that led to gardens inside the Cloisters which were also very nice.

In all, we really enjoyed our trip to Fort Tryon Park. The views it offered were amazing and the views within the park itself were very beautiful. The wide, open fields, the animal life, the flowers, the rocky heights, and the Cloisters were all fascinating and wonderful experience to witness. The architecture of the manmade terraces, gardens, and walls were very impressive. It was hard to believe that people were capable of building such tall and realistic looking landscapes. Overall, the project was really fun to do and it made us realize that Fort Tryon Park is a must-see for everyone.

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