The following has been taken from the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation’s website- http://www.nycgovparks.org/park-facilties/van-cortlandt-park/master-plan.
The Need for the Master Plan
When Frederick Law Olmsted was mapping the streets of the Bronx in 1876, he proposed that New York City buy the Van Cortlandt family estate. He reported that, without doing any work, the property was as beautiful as Central Park. New York City purchased the land and developed a third of it as a golf course, but made no comprehensive plan for the park. From the 1930s to the 1950s, the construction of three major highways fragmented the park and restricted access of visitors to the park’s rolling hills, forests, fields and wetlands. Read more »