Washington Square Park - Hundreds of Years of History & Happenings
The Heart of NYC in Washington Square Park
Out of 1,900 parks in New York City, only a few really stand out. One of Gotham's most famous is Washington Square Park, comprising almost 10 acres on the edge of Greenwich Village. With upwards of four centuries of stories to tell, it's no wonder the iconic common space is a favorite among New Yorkers and visitors alike. Buskers, magicians, acrobats, and mandala artists entertain passersby all hours of the day into night, as children frolic in the fountain beneath the iconic arch, and NYU students study in the grass or benches lining the paths. Designed to draw people together in its center, few NYC parks compare to the communal spirit of Washington Square.
Hundreds of Years of History
Dating back to the 1600s, the landmark park and its surrounding area have been an important part of New York City. Back then, it was inhabited by America Indians, until Dutch settlers drove them out. The land was then given to freed slaves to act as a buffer between the two groups. After reclaiming the area in 1797, the city turned it into a "Potter's Field," or public burial ground. In fact, the bodies of more than 20,000 unknown people and victim's of yellow fever lay beneath the park to this day! It wasn't until more of the land was acquired in 1826 that the space as we know it began to take shape - first as a Military Parade Ground, and ultimately as a park in 1850.
Late-Summer in the Square
Make your own memories in Washington Square as the seasons change, with FREE Tai Chi Classes every Tuesday (9am), Yoga Classes every Wednesday (8:30am), and Dance Classes every Thursday through September 17th (9:30am).