Bethesda Terrace


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This formal terrace was considered the heart of the park by the designers. The central feature is the famous Bethesda Fountain with its Angel of the Waters statue. This statue is the only statue in the park that was specifically commissioned for the park. The terrace and fountain get their name from the Gospel of John, where a pool called Bethesda with healing waters is referenced. This was all dedicated in honor of the Croton Aqueduct System, the water supply system that gives New York its tap water. The creation of the aqueduct was a huge leap forward in New York’s development. It greatly reduced disease in the city and also helped decrease the number of fires in New York. In the statue, the angel has her hand out, blessing the water for New York. The lily in her other hand represents the purity of the water. This area is seen in dozens of films and TV shows, including Law and Order, Sex and the City, Enchanted and Elf.


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