The original 1857 concept for New York’s Central Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, included an open lawn known as the "Greensward." Borrowing from the concept of the traditional English garden, where polite society communed with nature, the plan specified that a flock of sheep should graze in the 15-acre meadow on the west side of Central Park. In 1864, some 200 sheep called the park home.
Pedigree Southdown sheep grazed there for nearly 70 years -- until city planners decided to build the Tavern on the Green restaurant on the Sheep Meadow site in 1934. In other circumstances, the sheep might have been relocated elsewhere in the park, but it was the height of the Great Depression and city officials feared that the sheep would be seen as a source of free food.
Farm life in the big city: