A, B, C, D, E, F, M at W. 4th St.-Washington Sq.
This plot of land in Greenwich Village had been used as everything from a burial ground to a public-execution space prior to becoming a park in 1827, and it’s still evolving to this day. Now, in the same spot made famous in Henry James’s novel Washington Square, you’re liable to find NYU students using the 9.75-acre space as a de facto campus quad, chess players looking to start a game on one of nineteen concrete tables, or, yes, even the park’s infamous pot dealers. A $3 million renovation was completed in 2004 to restore the iconic Stanford White-designed marble arch, modeled on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and erected to commemorate the centennial of Washington’s inauguration. Another $13 million worth of construction wrapped up in 2009, which saw the park’s centerpiece fountain relocated to be more in line with the arch, in addition to providing expanded lawns and planting beds, granite benches, and lighting fixtures modeled after historic light poles. The rectangular park is filled out with dog runs, two playgrounds, Teen Plaza (for formal staged events), and an area in front of the Alexander Holley statue used for impromptu magic shows, acoustic folk concerts, and the like.Dog Runs
Created with the expertise of a Parks Department landscape architect and volunteers, the two runs (one for big dogs and another for small ones) encourage unleashed play while supplying extra lighting and non-toxic plant leaves.