8. Washington Square Park Arch
The Washington Square Park arch has so much history, we did a whole article just on its secrets. Next month on January 23rd will be the 100th anniversary of the famous incident when a group of artists, led by artists Marcel Duchamp, John Sloan and poet Gertrude Drick broke into the arch, climbed to the roof using the interior stairs and declared it the independent republic of New Bohemia.
The arch at Washington Square Park, designed by Stanford White, was built following the construction of a temporary arch out of wood, to mark the centennial of President George Washington’s inauguration. The arch was so popular, a campaign was started for the construction of a permanent one.
The interior space and roof of the current arch were not designed for public access, but there has been a NYC Parks office inside the arch in the past. There have also been a few rare moments of access for press and other insiders, including a live Periscope video stream last year. We shared a reader’s photos from inside the arch just this year. The NYC Parks Department spokesperson maintained at the hearing that the interior and roof are not structurally sound enough for public access, but Moses Gates of the Regional Plan Association pointed out in his testimony at the hearing that the renovation to the arch in the 2000s notably did not include plans for public access.