Washington Square Park

Greenwich Village, History, Urban Design

They Paved Washington Square Park and Put Up a Parking Lot

By Michelle Cohen, Thu, February 4, 2016

washington square Park, robert moses, 1960s, urban planning, shirley hayes, jane jacobs

Image via NYU Local

It’s true: Washington Square Park was, in part, Washington Square parking lot. In the 1960s, at the peak of the nation’s car culture fixation, the Greenwich Village park was put into use as a parking lot, until cars were finally banished altogether in the 1970s, when the large circular plaza around the fountain was added. Some say the parking lot was an effort to keep hippies from gathering in the beloved public space.

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Greenwich Village, History

washington square park burial vault

Employees of the Department of Design and Construction are definitely being kept on their toes this week. After uncovering a hidden vault containing the skeletal remains of at least a dozen people believed to be approximately 200 years old, workers have uncovered a second burial vault, this one filled with wood coffins. Workers tasked with upgrading 19th-century water mains under the park stumbled upon the latest burial ground Wednesday night, a day after their first finding at the corner of Waverly Place and Washington Square Park East.

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Greenwich Village, History

It’s pretty well known that Washington Square Park started out as a potters field, a burial ground for the poor, and later as a resting place for those who died from yellow fever. But this has always been something out of the history books. Until now.

Recently, a group of city workers in the process of upgrading water mains under the park came upon a hidden vault containing the skeletal remains of at least a dozen people believed to be approximately 200 years old. According to officials from the Department of Design and Construction, the vault is eight feet deep, 15 feet wide, and 20 feet long. While the exact details are unknown right now, a team of anthropologists and and archaeologists will be requested to evaluate and determine the age of both the remains and the vault.

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Cool Listings, Greenwich Village, Interiors

39 Washington Square South, living room, co-op

Central Park is usually hailed as the best New York park to live right off of. It definitely is one of the best, but that shouldn’t override another great NYC park–Washington Square Park. Downtown in Greenwich Village, you’ll get a whole different atmosphere consisting of performers, musicians, students, chess players and everyone else coming to hang around the park’s iconic fountain. Yes, it’s livelier and louder than Central Park, but if you’re looking for a co-op with a little more excitement and fun right outside, this apartment at 39 Washington Square South might fit the bill. It’s an impressive classic six unit that’s just hit the market for $2.75 million.

Check it out

Cool Listings, Interiors, West Village 

175 Bleecker Street, Washington Square Park, private landscaped garden, cobblestones

Here’s a really cool ground-floor pied-à-terre at 175 Bleecker Street with a private garden, available for $849,000. The fully-renovated loft has a crisp, clean feel with tall casement windows, white floors, and whitewashed exposed brick. And the landscaped garden is easy to maintain so it looks beautiful all year long—plus imagine stepping out into your own verdant space with a cup of coffee in hand.

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Featured Story

Features, History, Transportation, Urban Design

Robert Moses, Washington Square Park

If you have even the slightest interest in architecture, urban planning, and NYC history, you know Robert Moses. Unforgettably profiled as the “Power Broker” by Robert Caro, Moses was the “master builder” of mid-20th century New York and its environs. He was a larger-than-life character who had very set ways of approaching urban design. He advocated for highways over public transportation (he built 13 expressways through NYC), dense housing towers over low-scale neighborhoods, and communities segregated by race and class over organic, mixed-demographic areas. Of course, there are plenty of much-loved aspects of the city that also came from Moses–Jones Beach, the United Nations, and ten public swimming pools like the one in McCarren Park.

Regardless of your feelings on Robert Moses, though, we can all agree that the city would not be the same without him. But a lot has changed since he lost his post as director of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority in the mid 1960s and even more so since he passed away in 1981. So we can’t help but wonder what he would think of our fair city in 2015. To have a little fun, we planned a present-day tour for the ghost of Robert Moses.

See where we’d take the Power Broker here

Greenwich Village, maps, Urban Design

WSP Eco Map, Washington Square Park, NYC tree maps, Minetta Brook

It’s easy to get distracted in Washington Square Park by all the NYU students and street performers, but there’s a lot more than meets the eye in this historic public space. For instance, did you know the Minetta Creek runs under the park and through the surrounding neighborhood? Or what about all those beautiful trees, wouldn’t it be fun to know a little more about them? With a new mobile map called the WSP Eco Map, you can identify the species of many trees in the park, locate other environmental park components like nesting boxes, and see exactly where the Minetta Brook/Creek is hiding.

Find out more here

Featured Story

Features, holidays

NY Stock Exchange Christmas Tree

New York Stock Exchange Christmas tree via Mille Fiori Favoriti

Last week, we took a look back at the history of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to mark the annual lighting celebration. Though this is probably the most famous Christmas tree in the world, many of us jaded New Yorkers would rather not deal with the crowds and traffic jams that come with visiting Rock Center. So as an equally festive alternative, we’ve rounded up some of the other huge trees illuminating the city this holiday season.

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Greenwich Village, Interiors, Recent Sales

520 Laguardia Place 6N, Katia Bouazza apartment, beamed ceilings

HSBC investment banker and one of the 25 most powerful women in finance, Katia Bouazza, has just sold her Greenwich Village pad for $2.6 million, according to city records. Who would have thought the Co-head of Global Capital Markets for the Americas could have such great taste?

Take a look inside this gorgeous loft here



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