Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park is popular with locals and tourists alike

Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park cc licensed photo by Doc Searls

Where Harry met Sally, Washington Square Park is one of New York's most loved parks and has been a community meeting place and community center since it opened in 1826.

With an eclectic past as a cemetery, public gallows and military parade ground, Washington Square Park is well-known for its eccentricity and is emblematic of the Beat generation and hippie movement in bohemian Greenwich Village. Now, avant-garde street performers are a more common sight than the shifty types that plagued the park in the 1980s and Washington Square Park is once again one of the city's most popular spots for locals and tourists.

One of the most prominent features of Washington Square Park, Washington's Arch, was built in 1889, modelled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, to commemorate the centenary of President Washington's inauguration. Originally built in wood and rebuilt in marble in 1891, cars were allowed to drive through Washington's Arch until 1971 when the park was redesigned and closed to vehicular traffic.

Washington Square Park's previously unnamed fountain was recently refurbished and relocated to the center of the park and controversially renamed the "Tisch Fountain", after a wealthy family of NYU benefactors. While officially access to the fountain is denied and a fence has been erected as a deterrent, it hasn't stopped visitors from using the fountain for its original purpose as a wading pool.

Children's play areas, dog runs, shady greens and walking tracks draw thousands of people to park daily. Chess tables in the southwest, where Stanley Kubrick played in his youth and featured in Searching for Bobby Fischer, always attract a crowd. Nearby cafes on Bleeker Street and MacDougal Street are lovely options to relax after a stroll in the park.

Facts For Your Visit

Official Website: Washington Square Park

Fee: no

Category: Parks

Address: 1 Washington Sq E
New York, NY 10011

Reviews

Yelp Rating:
4.5 out of 5 4.5 Star Rating
Based on 540 Reviews.

See all reviews on Yelp

5 Star Rating Love this park, we enjoyed on the beautiful night! It's not overly crowded as Bryant Park not too far from here! You can do a little picnic here, lounging... Read More

Manda Bear B. Jun-23-2019

4 Star Rating What you would be surprised to know about New York is that they have a lot of pretty public parks that you are able to just sit and chill in. This park is... Read More

Francine L. Jun-14-2019

5 Star Rating New York has so many amazing parks to visit with Central Park being one of the most notable. However, Washington Square Park is just as intriguing. Located... Read More

Shayla B. Apr-22-2019

Accommodations near Washington Square Park:

Directions

Subway Line Nearest Station Walking Time
A, B, C, D, E, F or MWest 4th Street3 minutes
N or R8th Street / New York University5 minutes

How to get to Washington Square Park by Subway

Take the A, B, C, D, E, F or M train to West 4th Street, head northeast on 6th Avenue (Avenue of the Americas), turn left on Washington Place or take the N or R train to 8th Street / New York University, head southwest on Broadway, turn right onto Washington Place.

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