Thursday, December 15, 2011

Traveling Thursdays: Washington Square in NYC

Traveling back to 1949, today's post visits the Washington Square Park area of New York City. This 9.75 acre public space is located in the Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village.

In the distance of shot #1, you can see The Washington Arch, erected in 1889 out of plaster & wood to celebrate the centennial of George Washington's inauguration. Washington Square was originally a cemetery, which closed in 1825. The remains of more than 20,000 bodies still rest underneath the ground. In 1892 a permanent marble arch (designed by Stanford White) was erected. During the excavations for the arch, human remains, a coffin, and an 1803 gravestone were uncovered. Think Poltergeist.

In this photo, the artist has done a nice job of sketching Clark Gable and Don Ameche.

Greenwich Village (aka "the Village") was known in the late 19th—mid 20th centuries as an artists' haven, the bohemian capital, and the East Coast birthplace of the Beat movement. As is so typical of quirky/artsy areas, this is exactly what attracts the regular folks and ends up making the formerly unique areas more homogenized.

Today, the area is still vibrant and the arch serves as a welcoming beacon to all those who enter.

In 1918 two statues of George Washington were added to the north side:

See more vintage & current New York City photos on my New York City web page.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Stanford White was quite a character, with a taste for the ladies, and an architect of taste and distinction.