Eclectic street performer in Washington Square Park in New York. Photo by alphacityguides.
  • Washington Square Park in New York. Photo by alphacityguides.
  • Washington Square Park in New York. Photo by alphacityguides.
  • Washington Square Park in New York. Photo by alphacityguides.

Washington Square Park

What we love…

  • The almost 10 acres of land that runs through Greenwich Village is the home to one of the most well known parks in the city, after Central of course.
  • A popular meeting place, a playground for young families, and a stage for artists and performers, Washington Square park really is the perfect place to take a break on a nice day.
  • You'll find the famous marble archway modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris,  as well as a the fountain that serves as a summer gathering spot. Although you might think the arch was gifted to New York from Paris, it was actually built right here in New York by the architect Stanford White, for the centennial of George Washington's inauguration.
  • Although the park now looks pristine it actually has a pretty sorted past. Slave trade, public executions, a burial ground, and even the final resting place for people who died from the yellow fever outbreak in the 19th century, are all part of the parks rich history.
  • But don't let that scare you, the park has come along way since then. In 2004 it got a pretty costly facelift to rejuvenate the experience. This included a reno on the marble arch way, and relocating the fountain to a more visually appealing spot.
  • The proximity to NYU means pretty much any time of day you can find students lounging in the park or playing chess at one of the many concrete tables. Colorful individuals, like the one pictured above, use the park as their own personal soapbox to promote everything and anything, from politics to alien invaders—guess which one this guy was?
  • For the most part street performers are not only harmless they provide a musical soundtrack to the neighborhood, and serve as a nice distraction from the hustle of the outside city.

TIP

  • If you want to learn more about the slavery that took place at this location there's an exhibit at the New York Historical Society that does a good job of documenting it.

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Hours & Location

Washington Square Park
  • Greenwich Village
    10011 New York, New York
    United States
    Phone: 212 387 7676