Every Seat Tells a Story

Central Park, the first public park built in America, attracts over 25 million visitors each year. Within its 843 acres, the Park contains 50 fountains, monuments and sculptures, 36 bridges and arches and more than 9,000 benches.

In 1986, the Central Park Conservancy devised an innovative way to raise the money required to maintain the benches. The program, called Adopt-A-Bench, provides donors with a small touch of immortality via engraved plaques affixed to benches.

The donor selects both the inscription and the bench on which it will be placed, and the Conservancy promises to care for the bench and surrounding plantings for the life of the Park. Most benches can be adopted for $7,500, but hand-made rustic benches in select locations can be adopted for $25,000.

To date about 2,000 benches have been adopted, and their plaques commemorate the joyous, humorous, tragic, puzzling, poignant and mundane moments that occur every day in this great park.

In Honor of Shirley Turtletaub, Who Just Loves This Park

A Bench for Book Lovers

In Loving Memory of Gregory Richards. Dec. 28, 1970 – Sept. 11, 2001

When There Is No Wind, Row. George Ames Plimpton

Granny’s Summer Home

In Loving Memory of Rocky

In Loving Memory of Nauka Kushitani (2.5.57 – 9.11.01)

Dick Gilder and Lois Chiles

M.L. Will You Marry Me?

In Memory of the Man Who Gave Me New York, My Prince Charming

For The Rescue Dogs Of 9/11, Loyalty And Duty Beyond Our Comprehension

“Aren’t We Lucky” – David Halberstam

In The Stars’ Soft Light We Will Say Good Night

What A Joy, This Park!

The Central Park Conservancy Adopt-A-Bench program
Adopt-A-Bench application form (pdf)

7 Responses to Every Seat Tells a Story

  1. photowannabe says:

    What a delightful way to celebrate and have upkeep for the wonderful paark. As you said , so many stories. They really peek my curiosity.


  2. Olivier says:

    j’aime cette idée, et j’ai ete surpris de voir la meme chose sur des chaises du Bryant Park

    I like this idea, and I was surprised to see the same thing on chairs of Bryant Park


  3. Emmanual says:

    Ironic but i saw a similar story in nytimes just couple of months back !


  4. TheAgedCat says:

    Commemorative plates like these have always intrigued me. I’ve seen them on church pews. In the dormitories at my college, people used to put them up in the dorm rooms, commemorating previous inhabitants.

    You’ve found some great bench plates. Ever thought of compiling a little book about them?


  5. moi says:

    what a beautiful post…………2000 stories and counting, eh!!!!!!!! loved it 🙂


  6. Trevor says:

    Fascinating post and photos. For something similar in the UK check out http://www.benchpoetry.blogspot.com/


  7. pets says:


    […]Every Seat Tells a Story « Blather From Brooklyn[…]…


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: