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Incredible photos of New York City when sheep roamed Central Park

Business Insider Logo By Leanna Garfield of Business Insider | Slide 1 of 17: <p>Manhattan's Central Park has all the features of a great public space: It's car-free, features a range of flora and fauna, and anyone can access it.</p><p> Before Central Park became the landmark it is today, a 15-acre swath of the park had an unusual purpose in the 19th century.</p><p> Dubbed <a href="https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/central-park/highlights/10761"> Sheep Meadow</a>, the reserve hosted around 200 pedigree Southdown sheep for 70 years. Visitors would watch the flock of sheep while they grazed. The idea was to help Sheep Meadow further the mission of Central Park, envisioned by its architects as a refuge from the stresses of urban living.</p><p> Take a look at the meadow's history below:</p>

Manhattan's Central Park has all the features of a great public space: It's car-free, features a range of flora and fauna, and anyone can access it.

Before Central Park became the landmark it is today, a 15-acre swath of the park had an unusual purpose in the 19th century.

Dubbed Sheep Meadow, the reserve hosted around 200 pedigree Southdown sheep for 70 years. Visitors would watch the flock of sheep while they grazed. The idea was to help Sheep Meadow further the mission of Central Park, envisioned by its architects as a refuge from the stresses of urban living.

Take a look at the meadow's history below:

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