12. Mitchel Square

Mitchel Square Park

Lastly, and not the least interesting of squares, is Mitchel Square at 166th Street and Broadway. Dedicated to New York City mayor, John Purroy Mitchel. He distinguished his office when he appointed the first woman commissioner, Katerine Bement Davis of the Corrections Department. Mayor Mitchel served one term, some thought due to his snobbishness. At the height of World War I, he enlisted in the Aviation Corps. Tragically, while training in Lake Charles, Louisiana, he fell out of his plane and to his death due to not securing his seat belt.

Besides those aligned along Broadway, other notable squares reflect historical and military figures. Chatham Square in Chinatown is named for the sympathetic British Prime Minister, Will Pitt, Earl of Chatham. Chatham is also known as Kimlau Square for the American World War II pilot. Tompkins Square in the East Village takes its name from the fourth Governor of New York and U.S. Vice President under James Monroe, Daniel D. Tompkins. And, of course, there is Washington Square for our first president.

Lesser-known squares require outstanding street smarts and are more representative of the ethnic mix of the city. A. Philip Randolph Square, at the intersection of St Nicholas and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd, was named for the labor leader and founder of the Pullman union. Peretz Square, on Houston and Avenue A, honors the Yiddish author and essayist.

Next, check out the Top 10 Secrets of Madison Square!