Washington Square Park Blog began over nine years ago with the intention of chronicling the redesign of Washington Square Park. Although the contentious redesign of the park and its construction is mostly complete (the sidewalk reconstruction, continually stalled, remains ongoing), the threat of privatization to this very special park is not.
As reported in previous posts, there is a private conservancy itching to seize more turf – leading to commercialization, corporatization, non-stop programming, and a dramatic change to the park we know today – that was always the end goal (intended or not) of this group of wealthy women and their influence on the park, leading to its further sanitization. The recent hiring of controversial re-designer George Vellonakis as park administrator (but also Executive Director of Washington Square Park Conservancy) all but confirms that this is the direction the park will be heading – without intervention. Local Community Board 2, by turning its collective heads (more on this to come), has only given this private group leeway to do so.
Washington Square Park has been led by a publicly-paid park administrator working for the New York City Parks Department for over 20 years, unlike its privatized and very commercialized neighbors to the north and west.
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