Thanks to the PLOG blog for taking some historic footage of Abe Lincoln gazing impassively as the ill-starred Wollman Rink bites the dust in Prospect Park yesterday.
Many of us had some grand times skating outside on the curiously skewed rink (you sort of had to skate uphill one half and downhill the other), surrounded by woods and sky. But the dismal structure and its mechanicals violated Vaux and Olmsted's original plan of a lovely Concert Grove.
(So did Lincoln, actually, and he'll be moved back eventually to Grand Army Plaza. At right: Here he is in his original locale, circa 1890; presumably that Moorish be-nubbined thingie in the mid-ground is a fountain; the tower to the left is a long-demolished water tower, if memory serves. I wonder who the little girls grew up to be?)
The original original plan had an island on which musicians would play. A romantic notion, although apparently the acoustics weren't very good. Moses obliterated the bandstand island in 1960 for the wretched rink building.
Now if only the new plan called for rebuilding the original "Concert Grove House." This postcard view, circa 1900 or so, shows an elegant slate-roofed manse tucked behind lush landscaping; apparently it was built in 1874 to house comfort facilities for ladies and gentlemen and a fine restaurant. It was torn down after a fire in 1949, alas!
Images: Prospect Park archives