Washington Square Park is a 39,500 m2 (9.75 acres) public park in Lower Manhattan, New York City’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. One of the best-known public parks in New York City is a landmark as well as a meeting place and cultural activity center. This is run by the Parks and Recreation Department of New York City.
The park is an open space with a tradition of promoting nonconformity, dominated by the Washington Square Arch at the northern entrance to the park. The fountain area of the park has long been one of the resident’s and tourists’ famous spots in the region. Most of the buildings surrounding the park are now owned by New York University but many have once served as artists’ homes and studios. Some of the buildings were built by NYU while others were converted into academic and residential buildings from their former uses.
Location and features
Located at the foot of Fifth Avenue, the park is bordered by Washington Square North (called Waverly Place east and west of the park), Washington Square East (called University Place north of the park), Washington Square South (called West 4th Street east and west of the park), and Washington Square West (called MacDougal Street north and south of the park).
Although the park contains many flower beds and trees, due to the paving, little of the park is being used for planting. The two prominent features are a large fountain and the Washington Square Arch. It includes play areas for children, trees and gardens, walking paths, a play area for chess and scrabbles, park benches, picnic tables, statuary commemoration, and two dog runs.
Those commemorated by statues and monuments include George Washington; Italian patriot and soldier Giuseppe Garibaldi, commander of the insurrectionary forces in the struggle for the unification of Italy; and Alexander Lyman Holley, a talented engineer who helped start the American steel industry after the invention of the Bessemer process of mass steel production.
The park’s security cameras are operated by the New York City Police Department. The Department of Public Safety at New York University also maintains an eye on the park, and the department of city parks has security officers who patrol the park at times. In the “safest major city in the United States,” the area has a low crime rate.