|Washington Square Park|
|Type||Municipal public park|
|Area||9.75 acres (4 ha)|
|Operated by||New York City Department of Parks and Recreation|
|Public transit access|| Subway : to West Fourth Street–Washington Square, to Eighth Street–New York University |
Bus : M1, M2, M3, M8, M55
Washington Square Park is a 9.75-acre (39,500 m2) public park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, New York City. One of the best known of New York City's public parks, it is an icon as well as a meeting place and center for cultural activity. It is operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks).
The park is an open space, dominated by the Washington Square Arch at the northern gateway to the park, with a tradition of celebrating nonconformity. The park's fountain area has long been one of the city's popular spots, and many of the local buildings have at one time served as homes and studios for artists. Many buildings have been built by New York University, while others have been converted from their former uses into academic and residential buildings.
Located at the foot of Fifth Avenue, the park is bordered by Washington Square North (known as Waverly Place east and west of the park), Washington Square East (known as University Place north of the park), Washington Square South (known as West 4th Street east and west of the park), and Washington Square West (known as MacDougal Street north and south of the park).
While the park contains many flower beds and trees, little of the park is used for plantings due to the paving. The two prominent features are the Washington Square Arch and a large fountain. It includes children's play areas, trees and gardens, paths to stroll on, a chess and scrabble playing area, park benches, picnic tables, commemorative statuary and two dog runs.
Those commemorated by statues and monuments include George Washington; Italian patriot and soldier Giuseppe Garibaldi, commander of the insurrectionist forces in Italy's struggle for unification; and Alexander Lyman Holley, a talented engineer who helped start the American steel industry after the invention of the Bessemer process for mass-producing steel.
The New York City Police Department operates security cameras in the park.,and NYC Parks has security officer. The area has a low crime rate in the "safest big city in the United States."
The land was once divided by a narrow marshy valley through which Minetta Creek (or Brook) ran.In the early 17th century, a Native American village known as Sapokanican or "Tobacco Field" was nearby. By the mid-17th century, the land on each side of the Minetta was used as farm land by the Dutch. The Dutch gave the land, then outside the city limits (Wall Street) to Angolan residents of the colony, intending for their plots and settlement to serve as a buffer zone to Native Americans outside the settlement. In 1643, a group of “half-freed” slaves and elders such as Domingo Anthony, Manuel Trumpeter and Catalina Anthony, received land grants to build and maintain farms in the areas containing and surrounding Washington Square Park. The families who received the land were no longer slaves, but had to give a portion of the profits they received from the land to the Dutch West India Company and pay annual land fees. Their children would be born as slaves, rather than free. The area became the core of an early African American community in New York, then called the Land of the Blacks and later "Little Africa". Among those who owned parcels in what is now Washington Square Park was Paulo D'Angola.
It remained farmland until April 1797, when the Common Council of New York purchased the fields to the east of the Minetta (which were not yet within city limits) for a new potter's field, or public burial ground. It was used mainly for burying unknown or indigent people when they died.But when New York (which did not include this area yet) went through yellow fever epidemics in the early 19th century, most of those who died from yellow fever were also buried here, safely away from town, as a hygienic measure.
A legend in many tourist guides says that the large elm at the northwest corner of the park, Hangman's Elm, was the old hanging tree.However, research indicates the tree was on the side of the former Minetta Creek that was the back garden of a private house. Records of only one public hanging at the potter's field exist. Two eyewitnesses to the recorded hanging differed on the location of the gallows. One said it had been put up at a spot where the fountain was prior to 2007 park redesign. Others placed the gallows closer to where the arch is now. However, the cemetery was closed in 1825. To this day, the remains of more than 20,000 bodies rest under Washington Square. Excavations have found tombstones under the park dating as far back as 1799.
In 1826, the city bought the land west of Minetta Creek, the square was laid out and leveled, and it was turned into the Washington Military Parade Ground. Military parade grounds were public spaces specified by the city where volunteer militia companies responsible for the nation's defense would train.
The streets surrounding the square became one of the city's most desirable residential areas in the 1830s. The protected row of Greek Revival style houses on the north side of the park remains from that time.
In 1849 and 1850, the parade ground was reworked into the first park on the site. More paths were added and a new fence was built around it. In 1871, it came under the control of the newly formed New York City Department of Parks, and it was redesigned again, with curving rather than straight secondary paths.
In 1889, to celebrate the centennial of George Washington's inauguration as president of the United States, a large plaster and wood Memorial Arch was erected over Fifth Avenue just north of the park. The temporary plaster and wood arch was so popular that in 1892, a permanent Tuckahoe marble arch, designed by the New York architect Stanford White, was erected, 77 feet (23 m) and modeled after the Arc de Triomphe, built in Paris in 1806. During the excavations for the eastern part of the arch, human remains, a coffin, and a gravestone dated to 1803 were uncovered 10 feet (3.0 m) below ground level.standing
The first fountain next to the arch was completed in 1852 and replaced in 1872. In 1851, it was described as having "a very large circular basin, with a central jet and several side jets." A story on the completion of the fountain appeared in the first edition of the New-York Daily Times, which would eventually become the New York Times .The statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi was unveiled in 1888. In 1918, two statues of George Washington were added to the north side.
Robert Moses became the parks commissioner in 1934. He embarked on a crusade to fully redesign the park, and local activists began an opposing fight that lasted three decades.
In 1934, Robert Moses had the fountain renovated to also serve as a wading pool. In 1952, Moses finalized plans to extend 5th Avenue through the park. He intended to eventually push it through the neighborhood south of the park, as part of an urban renewal project. Area residents, including Eleanor Roosevelt, opposed the plans. The urbanist Jane Jacobs became an activist and is credited with stopping the Moses plan and closing Washington Square Park to all auto traffic, but Jacobs, in her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities , praised another local advocate in the fight against park traffic, Shirley Hayes: "[Hayes and the Washington Square Park Committee] advocated eliminating the existing road, that is, closing the park to all automobile traffic – but at the same time, not widening the perimeter roads either. In short, they proposed closing off a roadbed without compensating for it."
Hayes, former Chairman of the Washington Square Park Committee and member of the Greenwich Village Community Planning Board, a local resident and mother of four sons, started a public outcry for the park when large apartment buildings were raised on one of its borders. When then-Manhattan borough president Hulan E. Jack suggested an elevated pedestrian walkway over a four-lane road through the park, Ms. Hayes initiated "Save the Square!", a seven-year battle to keep automobiles out of the quiet area. m2) of roadway would be converted to parkland, a paved area would be created for emergency access only, and all other vehicles would be permanently banned from the park. This plan received widespread support, including that of then-Congressman John Lindsay, as well as Washington Square Park West resident Eleanor Roosevelt. After a public hearing in 1958, a "ribbon tying" ceremony was held to mark the inception of a trial period in which the park would be free of vehicular traffic. In August 1959, the efforts of Ms. Hayes and her allies paid off; from that time forward Washington Square Park has been completely closed to traffic. A plaque commemorating her tireless crusade can be seen in the park today. Hayes's papers are archived at the New-York Historical Society.Though several different proposals were given for a roadway in the park, Hayes and her followers rejected them all. Seeking to "best serve the needs of children and adults of this family community," Hayes in turn presented her own proposal: 1.75 acres (700
Since around the end of World War II, folksingers had been congregating on warm Sunday afternoons at the fountain in the center of the park. Tension and conflicts began to develop between the bohemian element and the remaining working-class residents of the neighborhood. The city government began showing an increasing hostility to the use of public facilities by the public and, in 1947, began requiring permits before public performances could be given in any city park.
In the spring of 1961, the new parks commissioner refused a permit to the folksingers for their Sunday afternoon gatherings, because "the folksingers have been bringing too many undesirable [ beatnik ] elements into the park." On April 9, 1961, folk music pioneer Izzy Young, owner of the Folklore Center—who had been trying to get permits for the folksingers—and about 500 musicians and supporters gathered in the park and sang songs without a permit, then held a procession from the park through the arch at Fifth Avenue, and marched to the Judson Memorial Church on the other side of the park. At about the time the musicians and friends reached the church, the New York City Police Department Riot Squad was sent into the park, attacked civilians with billy clubs, and arrested 10 people. The incident made the front pages of newspapers as far away as Washington, DC. The New York Mirror initially reported it as a "Beatnik Riot", but retracted the headline in the next edition, although tensions remained for a while.
In December 2007, NYC Parks began construction on a project to redesign and refurbish Washington Square Park, which at the time was projected to cost $16 million.Changes to the park included moving the fountain off center to improve its visual alignment with the arch when viewed from above, replacing the perimeter fence with a taller fence, and flattening and shrinking the central plaza, the park's politically contested gathering space. The plan also called for felling dozens of mature trees and installing ornamental water plumes in the fountain.
A spectrum of opponents had charged the mayor variously with privatizing the park and with social engineering park use, as part of a broader web of speculation schemes threatening nearby South Village and East Village communities and architecture. Five lawsuits were filed to challenge NYC Parks' renovation plans. In July 2006, New York County Supreme Court Justice Emily Jane Goodman enjoined any renovation work on the fountain or fountain plaza area, pending further review of the plans by the local community board, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and the Art Commission, stating that NYC Parks had intentionally misrepresented the project in a scheme to secure its approval. The ruling was reversed on appeal.Another lawsuit challenging the art commission's approval of the plan was dismissed. Two more lawsuits questioning the environmental review of the renovation project were heard in 2007 by the New York County Supreme Court, then dismissed.
Upon the completion of phase one of the park's renovation on May 22, 2009, the Coalition for a Better Washington Square Park, a private organization, began raising money to "hire off-duty cops and maintenance workers to patrol the park" by the summer of 2010. 125 °F (52 °C) in the sun, seemingly vindicating community members who had charged that the renovations were primarily to discourage public use of the park. The entire renovation was completed in 2014 for $30.6 million.On June 2, 2011, the eastern half of the park was reopened to the public, leaving only the park's southwest corner under construction. In mid-August 2012, the new granite benches heated up to
In July 2020, the northwest lawn was reopened after a yearlong restoration which included new grass and sod for the over 39,000 square feet of green space. Funding for the $170,000 project was provided by Ray Dalio's Dalio Philanthropies.
Washington Square has long been a hub for politics and culture in New York City. The first neighborhood organization established in New York City was created in support of the park. For over 100 years, the Washington Square Association has been helping to support and better the park and the surrounding neighborhood.
The presence of street performers has been one of the defining characteristics of Washington Square Park.For many years, people visiting the park have mingled with the buskers, performers, musicians, and poets. Because of a change in policy on a 2010 rule that involved artists, the new ruling that was to come in on May 8, 2013, would involve entertainers. This could mean that performers could be fined $250 for the first offense and up to $1,000 for further violations. The 2010 rule on which the 2013 ruling was based stated that artists could not sell within 50 feet of a monument or five feet from any bench or fence.
Some holiday traditions in the park date back to 1924. Each December, the park is home to an annual tree-lighting ceremony as well as a Christmas Eve sing-along with carolers and festive music. Also, the Washington Square Music Festival, which began in 1953, has brought chamber music concerts to park-goers every summer.
In 1834, New York University decided to use prison labor to dress the stone for a new building, across from the park, as prison labor from Sing Sing was cheaper than hiring local stonemasons. This, the stonecutters of the city said, was taking the bread out of their mouths. They held a rally in Washington Square Park, and then held the first labor march in the city. That turned into a riot, and the 27th New York regiment was called out to quell the stonecutters. The regiment camped in Washington Square for four days and nights until the excitement subsided. New York University continued their use of prison labor.
On Labor Day September 2, 1912, approximately 20,000 workers (including 5,000 women) marched to the park to commemorate the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which had killed 146 workers the year before.Many of the women wore fitted tucked-front blouses like those manufactured by the Triangle Shirtwaist Company. This clothing style became the working woman's uniform and a symbol of female independence, reflecting the alliance of labor and suffrage movements. Over 25,000 people marched up Fifth avenue from the park demanding women's suffrage in 1915.
In 1888, Robert Louis Stevenson, visiting the U.S. to seek medical help for his battle with consumption, talked to Mark Twain in the park.[ citation needed ]
In the years before and after World War I, the park was a center for many American artists, writers, and activists, including the photographer André Kertész, who photographed the square during winter. Later, the park was a gathering area for the Beat generation, folk, and hippie movements in the 1950s and 1960s; in 1958, musician Buddy Holly, a nearby resident of Greenwich Village, spent time in the park both listening to people play and helping guitarists with musical chords.In the mid-1960s, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada sat beneath a tree in the park and chanted Hare Krishna to the people there. On September 27, 2007, Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama held a rally at Washington Square; 20,000 people registered for the event, and the crowds overflowed past security gates set up as a cordon. The New York Times described the rally "as one of the largest campaign events of the year."
This section contains a list of miscellaneous information.(October 2020)
Washington Square is the setting of New York native Henry James' 1880 novel, Washington Square.
"Washington Square" was a 1963 instrumental hit performed by the New York City-based jazz group The Village Stompers, and was sung with lyrics by many other groups.
Washington Square is the titular park in the 1967 Jane Fonda and Robert Redford film Barefoot in the Park ; taking its title from the climatic scene, where Corie says Paul is so uptight, that he won't even just walk 'barefoot in the park' with her.
The park scene in the 1995 film Kids took place at Washington Square Park.
Built-in outdoor chess tables on the southwest corner encourage outdoor playing along with throngs of watchers (in his youth, Stanley Kubrick was a frequent player). These tables were featured in the films Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993) and Fresh (1994). The Washington Square tables form the cornerstone of what is called Manhattan's "chess district", as the area around the park (Thompson Street, between West 3rd Street and Bleecker Street) has a number of chess shops, the oldest being the Village Chess Shop, which was founded in 1972, but closed in November 2012.
The park appears in a pivotal scene in the 1999 film The Astronaut's Wife .
The park was featured extensively in the 2007 film I Am Legend . The protagonist, Dr. Robert Neville, played by Will Smith, lived directly across the street from the park. It was used as a major action piece, especially in the last scenes of the film.
Many scenes in the 2007 film August Rush with Robin Williams and Freddie Highmore were shot in the park. Highmore, playing the titular character August Rush, a musical prodigy, busks in the park under the watchful eye of the Fagin-like Williams.
The park serves as the subject of the musical group Counting Crows 2008 song "Washington Square" from the album Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings .
A 1958 Jane-Jacobs-led demonstration against Robert Moses' plans for the park is featured in a 2017 episode of the Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel .
The park was also the Starting Line during the premiere of the 2018 30th season of The Amazing Race .
The park served as a battleground for Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Cull Obsidian at the beginning of the 2018 film Avengers: Infinity War .
Central Park is an urban park in New York City located between the Upper West and Upper East Sides of Manhattan. It is the fifth-largest park in the city by area, covering 843 acres (341 ha). It is the most visited urban park in the United States, with an estimated 42 million visitors annually as of 2016, and is the most filmed location in the world.
Riverside Park is a scenic waterfront public park in the Upper West Side, Morningside Heights, and Hamilton Heights neighborhoods of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The park consists of a 4-mile (6.4 km) strip of land with a width of between 100 and 500 feet, situated between the Hudson River/Henry Hudson Parkway and the serpentine Riverside Drive.
Prospect Park is an urban park in Brooklyn, New York City. The park is situated between the neighborhoods of Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, and Windsor Terrace, and is adjacent to the Brooklyn Museum, Grand Army Plaza, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. With an area of 526 acres (213 ha), Prospect Park is the second largest public park in Brooklyn, behind Marine Park.
Union Square is a historic intersection and surrounding neighborhood in Manhattan, New York City, located where Broadway and the former Bowery Road – now Fourth Avenue – came together in the early 19th century. Its name denotes that "here was the union of the two principal thoroughfares of the island". The current Union Square Park is bounded by 14th Street on the south, 17th Street on the north, and Union Square West and Union Square East to the west and east respectively. 17th Street links together Broadway and Park Avenue South on the north end of the park, while Union Square East connects Park Avenue South to Fourth Avenue and the continuation of Broadway on the park's south side. The park is maintained by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
Orchard Beach is a public beach in the Bronx, New York City. The beach is part of Pelham Bay Park and is situated on the western end of Long Island Sound. Sometimes called the Bronx Riviera, Orchard Beach is the only public beach in the Bronx.
Tompkins Square Park is a 10.5-acre (4.2 ha) public park in the Alphabet City portion of East Village, Manhattan, New York City. The square-shaped park, bounded on the north by East 10th Street, on the east by Avenue B, on the south by East 7th Street, and on the west by Avenue A, is abutted by St. Marks Place to the west. The park opened in 1834 and is named for Daniel D. Tompkins, Vice President of the United States.
Madison Square is a public square formed by the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway at 23rd Street in the New York City borough of Manhattan. The square was named for James Madison, fourth President of the United States. The focus of the square is Madison Square Park, a 6.2-acre (2.5-hectare) public park, which is bounded on the east by Madison Avenue ; on the south by 23rd Street; on the north by 26th Street; and on the west by Fifth Avenue and Broadway as they cross.
McCarren Park is a public park in Brooklyn, New York City. It is located on the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint and is bordered by Nassau Avenue, Bayard Street, Lorimer Street and North 12th Street. The park contains facilities for recreational softball, volleyball, soccer, handball, and other games. It is also used for sunbathing and dog-walking. It also includes the McCarren Play Center, which consists of a recreation center and a pool. McCarren Park is maintained by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Central Park Conservancy is a private, nonprofit park conservancy that manages Central Park under a contract with the City of New York and NYC Parks. The conservancy employs most maintenance and operations staff in the park. It effectively oversees the work of both the private and public employees under the authority of the publicly appointed Central Park administrator, who reports to the parks commissioner and the conservancy's president.
Red Hook Recreation Area, also known as Red Hook Park, is a 58.5-acre (237,000 m2) public park in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, composed of several segments centered around Bay Street. The park's recreational facilities include handball courts, softball fields, a soccer and football field, and a running track. The Sol Goldman Play Center, within the block bounded by Bay, Henry, Lorraine and Clinton Streets, consists of a brick bathhouse and two pools. The park is operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, also known as NYC Parks.
Highbridge Park is a public park on the western bank of the Harlem River in Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York City. It stretches between 155th Street and Dyckman Street in Upper Manhattan. The park is operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. The City maintains the southern half of the park, while the northern half is maintained by the non-profit New York Restoration Project. Prominent in the park are the Manhattan end of the High Bridge, the High Bridge Water Tower, and the Highbridge Play Center.
Abingdon Square Park is located in the New York City borough of Manhattan in Greenwich Village. The park is bordered by Eighth Avenue, Bank Street, Hudson Street and West 12th Street.
Stuyvesant Square is the name of both a park and its surrounding neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan. The park is located between 15th Street, 17th Street, Rutherford Place, and Nathan D. Perlman Place. Second Avenue divides the park into two halves, east and west, and each half is surrounded by the original cast-iron fence.
The Ramble and Lake are two geographic features of Central Park in Manhattan, New York City. Part of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux's 1857 Greensward Plan for Central Park, the features are located on the west side of the park between the 66th and 79th Street transverses.
Crotona Park is a public park in the South Bronx in New York City, covering 127.5 acres (51.6 ha). The park is bounded by streets of the same name on its northern, eastern, southern, and western borders, and is adjacent to the Crotona Park East and Morrisania neighborhoods of the Bronx. It is divided into four portions by Claremont Parkway and Crotona Avenue, which run through it.
Father Demo Square is a 0.25-acre (0.10-hectare) triangular park and piazza bounded by Sixth Avenue, Bleecker Street, and Carmine Street in the South Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, New York City. The park is named for Father Antonio Demo, who was the pastor of the neighboring Our Lady of Pompeii Church from 1897 to 1935. The church was relocated to Carmine Street in 1926–1928 to accommodate an extension of Sixth Avenue south of Bleecker Street, which created the triangular plot of land. The park, located opposite Carmine Street from the church, was established in 1923 with the Sixth Avenue extension and the land was improved as a park, being named in a tribute to Demo.
Jackie Robinson Park is a public park in the Hamilton Heights and Harlem neighborhoods of Manhattan in New York City. The approximately 12.77-acre (5.17 ha) park is bounded by Bradhurst Avenue to the east, 155th Street to the north, Edgecombe Avenue to the west, and 145th Street to the south. The park has baseball fields, basketball courts, restrooms, and a bandshell, which are arranged around the park's steep terrain. It also includes the Jackie Robinson Play Center, which consists of a recreation center and a pool. Jackie Robinson Park is maintained by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
North Woods and North Meadow are two interconnected features in the northern section of Central Park, New York City, close to the neighborhoods of the Upper West Side and Harlem in Manhattan. The 90-acre (36 ha) North Woods, in the northwestern corner of the park, is a rugged woodland that contains a forest called the Ravine, as well as two water features called the Loch and the Pool. The western portion of the North Woods also includes Great Hill, the third highest point in Central Park. North Meadow, a recreation center and sports complex, is immediately southeast of the North Woods. Completed in the 1860s, North Woods and North Meadow were among the last parts of Central Park to be built.
The Dairy is a small building in Central Park in Manhattan, New York City, just south of the 65th Street transverse road. The building was designed by the architect Calvert Vaux, and was completed in 1871 as a restaurant. It now serves as one of five visitor centers in the park managed by the Central Park Conservancy and also contains a gift shop.
Heckscher Playground is a play area located in New York City's Central Park, located close to Central Park South between Sixth Avenue and Seventh Avenue. It is the oldest and largest of Central Park's 22 playgrounds.
Mr. Obama's aides said more than 20,000 people registered for the event through the campaign's Web site. While it was impossible to determine even a reliable attendance estimate, a view from the vantage point of an elevated lift seemed to reveal the gathering as one of the largest campaign events of the year.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Washington Square Park .|