Daily What?! Burial Vaults Discovered Under NYC’s Washington Square Park

Burial Vault-Washington Square Park-Chryalis Archaeology-NYCPhoto via Chrysalis Architecture

Washington Square Park is already rather ghoulish, with its prior history as a potter’s field – the city’s burial ground for the unclaimed and poor. Now, DNAInfo has reported that two burial vaults, with human remains, have been discovered just east of the park by workers on a water main project that’s part of the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC)

Washington Square Park Burial Vault-NYC Department of Design and Construction-Archaeology-BonesPhoto via NYC Department of Design and Construction

Coming soon to the area will be new bike lanes, better systems to handle runoff, and upgraded utilities. But first, the DDC, in partnership with The Landmarks Preservation Commission andChrysalis Archaeological Consultants, will assess the significance of the findings and catalogue the contents without actually disturbing the vaults. In addition to the vault entrance, human skeletal remains of a dozen people were found in the first vault. Both vaults are 8 feet deep, 15 feet wide and 20 feet long, reports Newsday.

Burial Vault-Washington Square Park-Chryalis Archaeology-NYC-2Photo via Chrysalis Architecture

Burial Vault-Washington Square Park-Chryalis Archaeology-NYC-3Photo via Chrysalis Architecture

For now, they believe the vault dates to the 19th century and are likely related to the former Cedar Street Presbyterian Church. One vault has been disturbed but another looks intact, says archaeologist Alyssa Loorya of Chrysalis.

Next, read about the creepy history of NYC’s parks.

 Washington Square Park

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