Washington Square Park Highlights | TopView Sightseeing

Washington Square Park

Location: According to Wikipedia, the park is bordered by Washington Square North (Waverly Place east and west of the park), Washington Square East (University Place north of the park), Washington Square South (West 4th Street east and west of the park), and Washington Square West (MacDougal Street north and south of the park).

A giant structure beneath the Washington Arch on the Fifth Avenue marks the entrance of Washington Square Park NYC. It is one of the city’s most easily recognizable space because of park’s fountain, the students around it, the musicians, two dog runs and sunbathers in its lawns. Among many celebrities and performers, John Leguizamo is one with fond memories of performing in the park.  Chess and other pickup games are often seen playing in the southwest corner of the park.  This place is known for its unique design, streetlights, black-brick paths and a magnificent bronze statue of Garibaldi.

Prior to becoming a public park in 1827, Washington Square Park New York was Washington Military Parade ground. And, as per the history, the land was acquired in 1797 for use as a “Potter’s field” and for public executions giving rise to park's northwest corner as the legend of the "Hangman’s Elm". Due to this reason, many families wanted to come out of downtown Manhattan, escape the disease and move to the park’s north side. The park hosted its first public demonstration by Samuel F.B. Morse in 1838.

The Washington arch was designed by architect Stanford White in marble between 1890-1892. Prior to this, the arch was of wood. The following statues were later installed on the Arch’s north side between 1916 to 1918 – Washington as Commander-in-Chief, Accompanied by Fame and Valor by Hermon MacNeil, and Washington as President, Accompanied by Wisdom and Justice by Alexander Stirling Calder.

If you are interested in the history of Greenwich life as depicted in novels like Henry James’ Washington Square, you must visit the Washington Mews. Originally a private farmland, with horse stables until the early1900s, was converted into open studios for art community that was flourishing in the area. Famous painter Edward Hooper had lived here until he breathed his last in 1967. Now, located between Fifth Avenue and University Place, it still has its original charm with historic street signs and homes draped in ivy. Stroll down the area of Washington Mews to escape into the past. It is mostly open during the daytime for visitors.

To reach Washington Square Park, just hop on our Downtown route and hop off at stop #8 Washington Square Park and you’re right there!

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This page was edited by Steven Thomas