Imagine you’re lying on a park bench; the sun is beating down on your skin. You can hear the gentle cooing of doves in the neighboring trees. A handful of area residents are huddled over a chessboard engaged in an afternoon game of technique and skill. The smell of fresh flower mingles with aromas from nearby restaurants. Where is this beautiful slice of tranquility you ask? Would you believe in the middle of Manhattan?! Washington Square Park is one of Manhattan’s most treasured public areas offering car rental NYX travelers a beautiful respite at the center of the city. From the lush landscape to the friendly fountain, Washington Square Park hosts a wide variety of vibrant attractions and unique amenities. A public park since the early 19th century, Washington Square is now one of the most popular public areas in all of Manhattan so what are you waiting for! Grab a friend and explore this urban oasis today!
Hangman’s Elm: A Quick History of the Park
Washington Square was used for a variety of purposes before becoming one of New York City’s most popular parks. Originally acquired by the City Common Council in 1797 as a burial ground, the park was also used as a place for public executions. Local legend pays homage to this historical fact, designating the large tree in the parks northwest corner “Hangman’s Elm”. The site was also used as the Washington Military Parade ground up until the area was designated a park in 1827. Since then the park has undergone a variety of revitalization efforts as well as beautification programs. Must-see attractions within the park include:
- The Washington Arch – Modeled after the Arc de Triumph in Paris, this beautiful architectural monument is located near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Washington Square Park North. Originally built of wood and plaster in 1889, the arch celebrated the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration. The current marble arch replaced the wooden one in 1892.
- The Statues of George Washington – Car rental NYC travelers can now clearly distinguish these two art works thanks to a $3 million dollar 2002 renovation program. The statues portray Washington as President and as Commander-in-Chief.
- The Chessboards – A trip to Washington Square Park wouldn’t be complete without a visit to these permanent gaming receptacles. Board game enthusiasts are encouraged to challenge one of the locals to a do-or-die game, but be careful! The Washington Square Park players take their craft very seriously!
- The Robin Kovary Run for Small Dogs – Animal lovers of all ages are bound to enjoy this active area located at the heart of park. A larger dog run is also located elsewhere in the park.
Other attractions in the park include a World War I flagpole, a bust of steel manufacturer Alexander Lyman and a statue of Italian nationalist leader Giuseppe Garibaldi.
From Students to Street Performers, Everyone loves Washington Square Park!
Hundreds of car rental NYC travelers and local residents visit this park each day, making it NYC’s most popular urban green space. Located on the outer edge of New York University, the Park proudly hosts an eclectic mix of students, corporate suits and outdoor entertainers. Everyday is a new adventure inside Washington Square Park, so what are you waiting for! Stop by and recline by the fountain or enjoy an impromptu game of soccer with some friends. Washington Square Park has a little something for everyone!
If you would like to learn more about Washington Square Park simply log onto the official New York City Department of Parks & Recreation website at www.nycgovparks.org. Washington Square Park currently features over 9.75 acres of open recreation area. Park hours run from dawn until 1am daily. Admission is always free. Car rental NYC customer can find entrance to the park at Fifth Avenue and Waverly Place and on West 4th Street at MacDougal Street.