HistoryEstablished in the 1830's, Washington Square was originally designed to host military parades. By the end of the 19th century, this public gathering place was transformed into an official park. The centennial anniversary of George Washington's assumption of the United States presidency inspired the creation of a triumphal arch in the park. Since 1889, the Washington Square Arch has been the most recognizable feature at this popular green space. During his extended tenure as a master planner of NYC's infrastructure, Robert Moses made some major renovations to Washington Square Park. For generations, New York University (NYU) has also influenced the overall atmosphere, culture and architecture in and around the park. Click to book your Greenwich Village walking tour.
FeaturesErected in 1892, the Washington Square Arch dominates the scene at Washington Square Park. This massive structure was inspired by triumphal arches in major European cities. Tuckahoe marble from rural New York was primarily used to construct this project. The architectural height of this stunning installation is approximately 77 feet. The east pier includes a statue of George Washington that was made by the sculptor Hermon Atkins MacNeil in 1916. The west pier features a statue of America's first president by Alexander Stirling Calder. Other intricate carvings and decorative elements are incorporated into the piers and roof of this historic arch. A circular fountain roughly defines the centre of Washington Square Park. This large fountain is surrounded by concentric rings of walkways that connect to other small trails. When exploring the western part of the park, you'll notice a monument that's dedicated to Alexander Lyman Holley, a talented engineer who played a major role in the development of America's steel industry. The bronze statue of Holley was sculpted by John Quincy Adams Ward in 1889. History buffs will also embrace the park's statue of Giuseppe Garibaldi, one of the most prominent Italian political figures in the 19th century. Cast in 1888 by Giovanni Turini, the bronze statue stands on a stone pedestal in the eastern part of the park. On a typical afternoon, Washington Square Park bustles with exciting activities. Amateur street performers often gather at this green space to bring some laughter, joy and other positive emotions to passers-by. Informal chess competitions also occur at the chess tables that are installed in the southwestern corner of the park.
Visiting Washington Square ParkWashington Square Park forms the core of the Greenwich Village neighborhood in Lower Manhattan. The main campus of New York University (NYU) is spread across the southern and eastern flanks of this historic park. You could easily get to the park via the New York City Subway. Situated at the corner of Broadway and East 8th Street, the 8 Street station is served by the Q, R and W lines. Seven other subway routes stop at the West 4 Street-Washington Square Park station. Both of these busy underground rail stops are located just a short walk away from Washington Square Park. You can also hop on a Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus that stops in Greenwich Village. Several bus stops are conveniently located along the busy 8th Street. Houston Street is another heavily commercialized road that runs just a few blocks south of the park.
Location: at the foot of New York's Fifth Avenue, in the heart of Greenwich Village, New York, NY
Click here to visit Washington Square Park official website.
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