history of Park

Washington Square Park Via Hand-Drawn 1925 Map -- The Lack of Symmetry! (The Bus Station!)

Washington Square Park Via Hand-Drawn 1925 Map — The Lack of Symmetry! (The Bus Station!)

July 27, 2013

The plans for the recent redesign of Washington Square Park were a tad obsessed with all things being symmetrical. Yet, as we know, it wasn’t always this way. This hand-drawn map above was created by Robert Edwards, the publisher of the Quill, a monthly Village publication published in the 1920s (for I’m not sure how [...]

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My first piece at the Huffington Post, Privatization of the Commons in Mayor Bloomberg's New York (Part I)

My first piece at the Huffington Post, Privatization of the Commons in Mayor Bloomberg’s New York (Part I)

April 16, 2013

My first piece at the Huffington Post, Privatization of the Commons in Mayor Bloomberg’s New York – Part I, ran yesterday, April 15, 2013. Part II is coming soon! “The town square … may well become valuable just because it is associated with custom and history within a given community. Keeping this resource in the [...]

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King of the Park: Charlie Barnett | Performances at Washington Square In Jeopardy Again

King of the Park: Charlie Barnett | Performances at Washington Square In Jeopardy Again

April 11, 2013

While searching for more information on Dave Chappelle’s association with Washington Square Park, I came upon the story of comedian Charlie Barnett who died 17 years ago last month. Barnett captivated countless people from all walks of life and gained his street performance ‘cred’ via his act delivered in the Washington Square Park fountain. In [...]

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54 Years Since Washington Square Park Officially Closed to Traffic

54 Years Since Washington Square Park Officially Closed to Traffic

April 5, 2013

This photo captures the community and park goers’ happy victory with stopping cars from traveling through Washington Square Park in 1958 tho’ it was actually April of 1959 when “the square” was closed to all but emergency traffic. The New York Preservation Archive Project tracks here the long history of the proposal which took different [...]

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Have Lessons Been Learned from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 102 Years Ago, Beyond Fire Safety?

Have Lessons Been Learned from the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 102 Years Ago, Beyond Fire Safety?

April 1, 2013

Last week was the 102nd Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, the site of the fire is 1/2 block from Washington Square Park. What I didn’t know is some of the history particularly in relation to the park and the person who became the first woman U.S. Labor Secretary in 1933. Here is a great, [...]

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This blog's first post: The magical park | 5 years ago this week!

This blog’s first post: The magical park | 5 years ago this week!

March 1, 2013

This blog is 5 years old this week! The first post: The magical park Originally posted February 26, 2008 When I first got involved with what was going on at Washington Square Park, someone referred to the park as “magical.” It took me awhile to see that. Certainly… I’d been to Washington Square Park over the [...]

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Washington Square Tree Lighting Ceremony Tonight Wednesday, December 5th | First Tree in 1924 was Planted in Park -- Bring Back Tradition?

Washington Square Tree Lighting Ceremony Tonight Wednesday, December 5th | First Tree in 1924 was Planted in Park — Bring Back Tradition?

December 5, 2012

Tonight, December 5th, is the tree lighting ceremony at Washington Square 6 p.m. in front of the Arch. It is the 88th year of tree lighting ceremonies at the park! The ceremony doesn’t get as much as attention as Rockefeller Center but it is an older tradition (by 8 years). In 1924, the first year [...]

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Three Years Since Tombstone of James Jackson Dating Back to 1799 Discovered During Washington Square Park Construction

Three Years Since Tombstone of James Jackson Dating Back to 1799 Discovered During Washington Square Park Construction

October 26, 2012

It was late on a Friday this time of year in 2009 and I received a blog comment from someone named Matt Kovary who wrote, “Do you have any information on a tombstone that was uncovered today in WSP at the corner of Sullivan and West 4th Street? I saw the back of it with [...]

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New "Mounds" at Washington Square Park Taking Shape - but in what form?

New "Mounds" at Washington Square Park Taking Shape – but in what form?

August 16, 2012

The somewhat controversial “Mounds” at Washington Square Park are starting to take some shape in the Southwestern mid-section of the park. Originally part of Phase II of the park’s redesign, they were moved into Phase III construction, going on now. I’ve always been a little confused by the Mounds — as I indicated in this [...]

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Why did Henry James hate the Washington Square Arch? Meanwhile, the Arch officially turns 117

Why did Henry James hate the Washington Square Arch? Meanwhile, the Arch officially turns 117

May 8, 2012

Writer Henry James used Washington Square as the name (and setting) for for one of his well known novels published in 1881; it was also one of his least favorite of ones he’d written. James grew up nearby on Washington Place and his grandmother lived at 18 Washington Square North (now part of 2 Fifth [...]

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