Jackson Square Park

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Bernard Ratzer's 1767 map shows Monument Lane (now Greenwich Avenue) heading northwest to the Wolfe monument at its terminus—near what is now Jackson Square Park.

Jackson Square Park is a 0.227 acres (0.092 ha) park located in the Greenwich Village Historic District[1] just below the intersection of Eighth Avenue and 14th Street in Manhattan, New York City. Triangular in shape, it is bordered by 8th Avenue on the west, the commencement of Horatio Street on the south and the terminus of Greenwich Avenue on the east.

Colonial location[edit]

The city's first war memorial was erected In 1762 among farmland at the northern terminus of Greenwich Avenue (known then as Monument Lane) at what is now the general vicinity of Jackson Square Park. It was an obelisk honoring British Major General James Wolfe who died in the Battle of Quebec. By 1773 the monument no longer appeared on local survey maps, though why it was dismantled is unknown.[2] [3]

Park history[edit]

Jackson Square Park Fountain, NYC
Jackson Square Park, NYC

The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation reports that the triangular park first showed up on plans for the city in 1811 as it moved to a grid system. It was formally acquired by the City of New York in 1826.[4]

The Department reports that a "Jackson Hall" was on the site of 2 Horatio Street facing the park in the mid-nineteenth century. No written reference to the name "Jackson Square" has been found before 1872. And while it is uncertain exactly when it became known as "Jackson Square," it is believed to have been named for US President Andrew Jackson.

In 1887 Parks superintendent Samuel Parsons, Jr. and consulting architect Calvert Vaux collaborated on a new design for Jackson Square as part of a city-wide effort.[4] In 1892 Parsons is quoted as saying the park was known for "“a great bouquet of brilliant flowers and leaves.”

However, a 1934 Max Ulrich photo from the NYC Dept of Parks Photo Historical Archive shows a rather barren park with a single entrance on Greenwich Avenue (as opposed to the three entrances on each of the three bordering streets today).[5] Reflecting none of the brilliance referenced by Parsons.

Today[edit]

Jackson Square Park; view from the north toward Horatio Street

A capital project was completed by the City of New York in 1990 which included restoring the iron fencing and the addition of a new, three-tiered, cast-iron water fountain in a 19th-century ornate style.[6] An alliance of residents and local businesses known the Jackson Square Alliance, is active in keeping the park maintained.

References[edit]

Notes

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°44′20″N 74°00′10″W / 40.738900°N 74.002886°W / 40.738900; -74.002886