Washington Square Park 1936 – With No Fences, Unaligned Fountain, etc.

Washington Square Park: April 1936. No Fences… very sparsely landscaped but very inviting. This shot is facing North. Fountain is to the left (unaligned) in the location it had been since 1871 in the center – the east-west axis – of the Park (until redesign this year by Bloomberg Administration).

(It does feel a bit like a University campus tho’, doesn’t it?)

The tree in the foreground is apparently no longer there and was made into a totem pole. Is that still there?

Photo: Berenice Abbot

Updated Note: I have a few more posts to post before going on blog break … they’re forthcoming.

Leave a comment


  1. Beautiful! I also love the complete row of townhouses on Washington Square North and the clear view of the Empire State Building.

  2. It used to be so much better. Thanks Bloomberg.

  3. Arthur Remes

     /  July 6, 2009

    I have just seen the Washington Square park renovation.It has been changed from one of the most beautiful public spaces in New York to one of the ugliest. The fountain was moved in front of the arch, blocking the view of the arch. On another sight line, a tree has been planted in front of the arch. It is now much harder to see the arch. Unbelievably ugly street lamps have been substituted for the old, beautiful streetlamps. The two level theater-like space has been flatted out and ugly benches put in place of the rim around the space.

    Meanwhile, broken pavement and bricks have been left all over the park.

    I have spent the last two years photographing the park as reference for a painting. I am glad I have the record of the lively, joyous space that once existed there.

    How could this happen? Why was so much money spent on fixing what wasn’t broken, and not fixing what was?

    A sad day for New York.

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