While there are probably plenty of weird things buried in Central Park, officially and... discreetly, dinosaurs are not one of those things. This week, Ephemeral NY reported that "in 1868, Andrew Green, one of the city planners in charge of Central Park, invited [artist Benjamin Waterhouse] Hawkins to build dinosaur models in New York." They were meant to be like his dinosaurs at London's Crystal Palace, like this:
Except in Central Park, the plan was ultimately to have the models housed in a Paleozoic museum in the park—something that was stopped by Boss Tweed. And when Hawkins spoke out publicly against him in 1871, Boss Tweed had his boys smash his dinosaur models to bits.
Ephemeral claims "the ruined sculptures were then buried somewhere near the southwestern corner of the park. Despite periodic searches [including one in 2005], his sabotaged dinosaur models have never been found." And CUNY supports this, saying, "They still rest somewhere under the sod of Central Park, probably not far from Umpire Rock and the Heckscher ballfields." But it seems that is all inaccurate.
The Central Park Conservancy's historian, Sara Cedar Miller, told us this morning: "The dinosaur models were made of concrete and metal so their 'bones' would basically be unidentifiable if found. The remains were thrown into the Pond, not under sod as the article falsely states, and the Pond has been dredged for restoration restored many times and it is quite unlikely that anything would be there now."