Before the construction of Central Park in 1858, the landscape along what is now the Park’s perimeter from West 82nd to West 89th Street was the location of Seneca Village. This African-American enclave existed from 1825 to 1857, providing its residents an escape from unhealthy conditions and pervasive racism experienced in downtown Manhattan, as well as an opportunity to build a new community.
When the City acquired the land for Central Park through the process of eminent domain, the residents of Seneca Village were displaced and forgotten. In the 1990s, historians rediscovered the Village, leading to an ongoing project to uncover this extraordinary community.
In recent years, the Conservancy has undertaken a major effort to conduct new research on Seneca Village and also share its history within the physical landscape of the Park.
These video series were created to raise awareness of the history before Central Park was created.
Create a series of videos through the perspectivie of archeologists, historians, researchers, community members, descendants of the community, and the Central Park Conservancy team of experts to raise awareness about this important community.
For generations—the history of Seneca Village, a predominantly African-American community that existed before Central Park—was lost. We were able to share the history of Seneca Village through different perspectives: those of the community, descendants, historians, and other experts and its landscape.
Many people now know the history. They are some of our most viewed videos.
Fill out the form below and we'll work on connecting you to the entry creator!