Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village is a wonderful respite from the city with is magnificent arch and public spaces. But all around it, secrets abound in the history of how it came to be. Here are our top 10 favorite secrets of Washington Square Park:
10. The Fountain Was Once a Wading Pool
Image from NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. Photo taken July 17, 1935.
Of all the neighborhoods in New York City that Robert Moses pissed off, Greenwich Village has to come to epitomize the community organization movement against him. First, his proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway would have cut right through Greenwich Village (imagine that today!). Then he wanted to extend 5th Avenue south through the neighborhood. In 1934, he started renovating Washington Square Park when he became Parks Commissioner, galvanizing support against him from the likes of Jane Jacobs and Eleanor Roosevelt. One thing he did manage to get changed: converting the fountain into a wading pool.