The Arsenal is at Fifth Ave. and 64th St. on the east side of Central Park. Designed to resemble a medieval fortress, the 1851 Arsenal first served as a munitions supply depot for New York State's National Guard; in later incarnations, it was a police station, a weather bureau, the first Museum of Natural History, and a small zoo. Today, it's home to the headquarters of the Central Park Zoo and New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation. The lobby's 1930's WPA murals depict 19th-century park scenes. On the third floor, visitors can view the original park plan, created by architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, as well as the Arsenal Gallery, featuring 8-10 exhibitions of fine arts and photography.
Note: Reservations are required to view the original park plan.