The Gates

Central Park, New York City
1979-05

Chief Engineer and Director of Construction: Vince Davenport
Project Director: Jonita Davenport
Exclusive Photographer: Wolfgang Volz

The installation in Central Park was completed with the blooming of the 7,503 fabric panels on February 12, 2005. The 7,503 gates were 16 feet (4.87 meters) tall and varied in width from 5 feet 6 inches to 18 feet (1.68 to 5.48 meters) according to the 25 different widths of walkways, on 23 miles (37 kilometers) of walkways in Central Park. Free-hanging saffron colored fabric panels, suspended from the horizontal top part of the gates, came down to approximately 7 feet (2.13 meters) above the ground. The gates were spaced at 12 feet (3.65 meter) intervals, except where low branches extended above the walkways. The gates and the fabric panels could be seen from far away through the leafless branches of the trees. The work of art remained for 16 days, then the gates were removed and the materials recycled.

The 5 inch (12.7 cm) square vertical and horizontal poles were extruded in 60 miles (96.5 km) of saffron colored vinyl. The vertical poles were secured by 15,006 narrow steel base footings, 613 to 837 pounds (278 to 380 kilograms) each, positioned on the paved surfaces. No holes were made in the ground. The gates' components were fabricated, off-site, by seven manufacturers located on the East Coast of the USA. The weaving and sewing of the fabric panels was done in Germany.

In teams of eight, 600 workers wearing The Gates uniforms, were responsible for installing 100 gates per team. The monitoring and removal teams included an additional 300 uniformed workers. The monitors assisted the public and gave information. All workers were financially compensated and received breakfast and one hot meal a day. Professional security worked in the park after dark.

The Gates was entirely financed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude, as they have done for all their previous projects. The artists do not accept sponsorship or donations.

The grid pattern of the city blocks surrounding Central Park was reflected in the rectangular structure of the commanding saffron colored poles while the serpentine design of the walkways and the organic forms of the bare branches of the trees were mirrored in the continuously changing rounded and sensual movements of the free-flowing fabric panels in the wind.

The people of New York continued to use the park as usual. For those who walked through The Gates, the saffron colored fabric was a golden ceiling creating warm shadows. When seen from the buildings surrounding Central Park, The Gates seemed like a golden river appearing and disappearing through the bare branches of the trees and highlighting the shape of the meandering footpaths.

The Thousand Gates (Project)
Christo
The Thousand Gates (Project)
Drawing 1979
11 x 14" (28 x 35.5 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, pastel and tape
Photo: Eeva-Inkeri
© 1979 Christo
The Gates (Project for Central Park, New York City)
Christo
The Gates (Project for Central Park, New York City)
Collage 1980
28 x 22" (71 x 56 cm)
Pencil, wax crayon, pastel, fabric, photostat and fabric sample
Private collection
Photo: Archive
© 1980 Christo
The Gates (Project for 11.000 Gates, Central Park, New York City)
Christo
The Gates (Project for 11.000 Gates, Central Park, New York City)
Drawing 1980
42 x 65" (106.6 x 165 cm)
Pencil and charcoal
Photo: André Grossmann
© 1980 Christo
The Gates (Project for Central Park, New York City)
Christo
The Gates (Project for Central Park, New York City)
Drawing 2001 in two parts
15 x 65" and 42 x 65" (38 x 165 cm and 106.6 x 165 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, enamel paint and aerial photograph
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2001 Christo
Ref. # 13
The Gates (Project for Central Park, New York City)
Christo
The Gates (Project for Central Park, New York City)
Drawing 2003 in two parts
15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, fabric sample, aerial photograph and hand-drawn technical data
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City, USA (Gift of Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy)
Photo: André Grossmann
© 2003 Christo
The Gates (Project for Central Park NYC)
Christo
The Gates (Project for Central Park NYC)
Collage 2003 in two parts
30 1/2 x 12" and 30 1/2 x 26 1/4" (77.5 x 30.5 cm and 77.5 x 66.7 cm)
Pencil, fabric, wax crayon, charcoal, enamel paint, pastel, map and fabric sample
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2003 Christo
The Gates (Project for Central Park, New York City)
Christo
The Gates (Project for Central Park, New York City)
Drawing 2004 in two parts
15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, pastel, wax crayon, aerial photograph, fabric sample and hand-drawn technical data
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2004 Christo
The Gates (Project for Central Park, New York City)
Christo
The Gates (Project for Central Park, New York City)
Collage 2005
14 x 11" (35.5 x 28 cm)
Pencil, enamel paint, photograph by Wolfgang Volz, wax crayon, map, fabric sample and tape
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2005 Christo
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2005 Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2005 Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2005 Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2005 Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2005 Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2005 Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2005 Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2005 Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2005 Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 1979-2005
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 2005 Christo and Jeanne-Claude