hidden burial vault

Greenwich Village, History

All photos: NYC Parks / Daniel Avila

The New York City Parks Department on Tuesday reinterred the human remains of early New Yorkers found during construction in and around Washington Square Park. The skeletal remains were placed in a wooden box and buried five feet below grade within a planting bed, with an engraved paver marking the site at the southern entrance of the park near Sullivan Street. The remains were uncovered between 2008 and 2017, including the unearthing of two 19th-century burial vaults in 2015 that held the remains of at least a dozen people.

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Greenwich Village, History

Via Wikimedia

While upgrading water mains under Washington Square Park in 2015, city workers unearthed two 19th-century burial vaults containing the skeletal remains of at least a dozen people. As part of Landmarks Preservation Commission protocol, intact burials were left untouched, but the city had removed several hundred bone fragments. Four years later, plans to rebury the remains under the park are moving forward as the Parks and Recreation Department presents its idea to place the fragments in a “coffin-sized” box, according to the Villager.

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