Everyone knows about the Whisper Wall in Grand Central, but did you know there's a Whisper Bench in Central Park? Out of the park's 9,000 benches, it's the only one of its kind.
The bench—named for Charles B. Stover—sits inside the 4-acres of Shakespeare Garden. It works similarly to the Grand Central wall, you can whisper into one end, and the sound travels to the other end.
Unlike the wooden benches found all over the park, this is a 20-foot, curled granite piece, which doubles as a memorial for Stover, former New York City Parks Commissioner. It was dedicated back in 1936, about seven years after his death. According to the Parks Department, Robert Moses had a hand in making it all happen:
A group of prominent citizens, concerned with preserving the memory of Stover and his deeds, formed the Charles B. Stover Memorial Association and commissioned this monument through private donations. The bench is not of the standard wrought iron or cast-concrete variety, but a curved 20-foot exedra of Deer Isle granite. On November 5, 1936, Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, Dr. John H. Finley, and the associate editor of the New York Times gathered in the Shakespeare Garden to dedicate the memorial.
The bench is situated on a natural rock outcropping. At the time of the unveiling, it was noted that the location was apt, since during Stover’s time as Parks Commissioner, he had changed this place “from a dilapidated stone mass covered with poison ivy to a rock garden with an artificial stream of water and pools of water lilies.”
And now, your Moment of Zen:
Shakespeare's Garden is on the West Side of the park, between 79th and 80th Streets.