In the Media

Construction to Align Fountain with Arch 2008

Just when you thought everyone in the mainstream media had forgotten about the Bloomberg Administration’s decision to align the Washington Square Fountain with Fifth Avenue and the Arch as part of its redesign plan (the fountain had stood regally in its original location for 137 YEARS), I came across this piece from writer Michael Gross at Crain’s NY Business. (This was a couple of weeks ago but still worth noting.)

New York Becoming Wisconsin:

The mayor’s domestication of Manhattan has gone far enough. It’s there in the nanny-state bans on foods, sodas and ciggies; the redesign of nasty, grotty, thrill-a-minute Times Square into a holding pen for clueless tourists; the move of the Washington Square fountain 22 feet to the east so it aligns with the arch and Fifth Avenue; even the routing of quirky neighborhood retailers and their replacement by Duane Reades, bank branches and chain stores—a perhaps unintended but definitely unpleasant side-effect of the mayor’s economic miracle. I recently called Time Warner Center the Short Hills Mall and someone said, “Don’t insult Short Hills like that.” Much as I like the visual vibrancy of the new Times Square, shut your eyes and listen to the voices around you, and you could be in Green Bay.

Enough with domestication. New Yorkers don’t want to be domesticated. We don’t want safe. We sometimes like scary. We don’t even always want clean. We’re not afraid of what’s around the corner; we rush toward it.

More at Crain’s.

For some history, see previous WSP Blog Post: Actually, Mr. Vellonakis, the Washington Square Park Fountain IS already aligned

Leave a comment


  1. Georgia

     /  March 11, 2011

    Would be interesting to see an overlay of the current park on the original one.

  2. This isn’t about the alignment, but I came across this piece about the arch itself; thought it would be worthwhile to share. Have you heard of it?

  3. Georgia, Yes it would! There probably is some way to do so although Parks Department has been a bit reticent about providing materials to public that might do so (or providing model of park illustrating before & after as has been requested).

    Nadia, I like your blog!

    Yes, I have seen that and thanks for sharing. Curbed did a good piece. I wrote a post earlier this week about WSJ reporter going inside the Arch:

    Thanks for stopping by!


  4. Time and time again I keep seeing examples of just how much Bloomberg despises New York and everything that makes NYC distinctive. It’s so blatant, yet it seldom gets explicitly mentioned as such.

  5. It’s true. This Mayor just wants to change everything about the city (the things that make it special) at an accelerated pace and no one stops him. It’s a bit bizarre.

    Thanks for your comments. Always interesting.


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