During a news conference held Tuesday morning in Central Park near the Bethesda Fountain the Central Park Conservancy and Mayor Michael Rubens Bloomberg announced the donation. Billionaire John Paulson together with the Paulson Family Foundation donated $100 million to the Central Park Conservancy. This might be the biggest gift ever to be made to a public park. The second largest gift, $40 million, was made this year to have a cycling track built in the Brooklyn Bridge Park.
At the news conference Mr. Paulson explained why he chose to donate the money to New York’s Central Park: “Walking through the park in different seasons, it kept coming back that in my mind Central Park is the most deserving of all of New York’s cultural institutions. And I wanted the amount to make a difference.”
Half of the donated money will be used for capital improvements while the other half will add to the park’s current endowment. The money will be more than enough to break a cycle of decline and restoration that was repeating throughout the 153 years of the park’s existence.
Don Blonsky, CEO and president of the Central Park Conservancy, hailed Paulson’s gift and explained that with this gesture John Paulson joined visionaries such as Olmsted and Vaux that created Central Park in 1858.