Many of New York City’s most fascinating spaces are hidden from public view. One of those spaces is the interior of the Washington Square Arch, a place that was never meant to be seen by the public. A new short by Unforgotten Films brings you both inside and on top of the Washington Square Arch to explore a space most people probably didn’t even know existed.
The video is part of Unforgotten Films’ series Unforgotten Minutes, a collection of minute-long videos that look at specific moments within the inaccessible landscapes of New York City. As you journey to the top of the arch in the video, via a 120-step spiral staircase, there is brickwork by the famous tiler Guastavino. There is also an empty 17-foot tall room located just behind the nestings of the eagle sculptures and the George Washington sculpture on the exterior. This room is used for arch maintenance. Workers can check if the roof is leaking and make sure the structure is still sound from inside the vast open space.
“Awareness can inspire new ways to interact with our city, and share NYC’s unseen architectural treasures,” the Unforgotten Films short notes. Even though the Washington Square Arch interior isn’t open to the public, it’s still a part of New York City that we can learn from and use to inspire unique ways to interact with off-limits spaces.
Untapped New York was lucky enough to be brought inside the space thanks to NYC Parks and the Washington Square Park Conservancy, as a follow-up to our founder Michelle Young’s NYC Makers interview with former NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. Check out some of our photos from the experience here.
Next, check out 10 Secrets of the Washington Square Arch