19th Century Burial Vault With Skeletal Remains Found Under Washington Square Park During Water Main Construction

Updated 11:23 a.m.

19th century burial vault
19th century burial vault discovered

On Monday, I wrote about the skeletons in the park. Now, there is another reason to.

Remember the Washington Square Water Main Project? It was announced in August, and at that month’s Community Board Parks committee meeting, it was stated the Department of Design & Construction would be working on the water mains in the Eastern section of the park, they were old – from the 1800s – and needed replacing, and, during the work, they would be digging 6 to 7 feet deep.

Well, yesterday, during the digging, this happened:

Via Associated Press/ABC News:

NEW YORK —
Workers upgrading old water mains under Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village discovered a 19th century burial vault containing skeletal remains.

Officials with the city’s Department of Design and Construction say the 8 foot wide, 20 foot long vault contained the remains of about a dozen people.

It was discovered Tuesday while a contractor was excavating a century-old water main replacement project. Workers have stopped work at that specific location, which is on Washington Square Park East, near the intersection of Waverly Place.

Officials said Wednesday that archaeologists and anthropologists will be at the site near Washington Square Park East and Waverly Place to gather more information.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission will also be involved.

The New York City Department of Design and Construction will continue to excavate south of the burial vault. The vault is being protected and passage by vehicles and pedestrians will be restricted. The impacted area will be blocked off until further information is developed.

Is it any wonder some think the park “seems haunted?

Update: At the ABC link above, they just added photos of the actual bones and bodies. Go there to see them.

Photo: NYC Department of Design & Construction

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