A $100 Million thank-you for a lifetime’s Central Park memories

By Lisa W. Foderaro

The New York Times

When the hedge fund manager John A. Paulson stood in front of a gently cascading Bethesda Fountain on Tuesday morning in the heart of Central Park and announced a $100 million gift to the Central Park Conservancy, it seemed to come out of nowhere, like an errant ball from one of the park’s playing fields.

But the gift, the largest monetary donation in the history of New York City’s park system — and possibly the nation’s — was, in a sense, decades in the making. It stretched back to the days when Mr. Paulson, now 56, hung out at the fountain as a teenager, beneath the bronze statue Angel of the Waters, which was then scrawled with graffiti and bone dry. And it took shape more recently on walks with the president of the conservancy, Doug Blonsky, through the park’s North Woods.




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