New York City
As the entrance across from Columbus Circle, Merchants’ Gate is one of the busiest entrances to Central Park. In her former capacity as Central Park’s Chief of Design Laura Starr led a restoration of the popular Merchants’ Gate to reconfigure a confusing web of paved paths, closing vehicular access and connecting pedestrians to landscapes and the recreational lane on the Park Drive. The area now features an attractive and inviting public plaza with decorative granite paving, a low stone seating wall, clearly defined pedestrian entrances and a shaded sitting area with improved lighting. Just inside the Park is a beautiful lawn with gentle sloping hills and archways running under the West Drive. Her work at Merchants’ Gate continued along the West Side of the Park as part of an effort to reconfigure the pedestrian paths and bridle trails from Columbus Circle to 96th Street.