What is going on with the Washington Square Park Fountain?

Yesterday, Fountain Off

What’s going on with the Fountain? Erratic hours, turning off at 7 p.m. (it’s supposed to stay on ’til 11); sometimes not on at 11 a.m. in the morning lately. Yesterday, a reader reports it was not on AT ALL as of 1 p.m. and then again at 5 so off all day?

Is this another effect of Parks Department budget problems or the overblown redesign? Pick one. While the department spends $35 MILLION on Washington Square Park Phases I, II and III, it appears either the agency had bad construction work done or can’t maintain consistent hours. The fountain has been a part of the park experience for years.

4 weeks ago

The Washington Square Park fountain went under construction during Phase I of Washington Square Park’s redesign. Under the Bloomberg Administration’s directive, it was moved 23 feet east to align with the Arch and was reconstructed from scratch; unveiled to the public in 2009. It recently went under repair on May 16th for about 2 weeks before it reopened to the public in time for the Eastern side of the Park’s opening (Phase II-A) on June 2nd.

Previous WSP Blog Post (May 16th): Is the New Washington Square Park Fountain Falling Apart?

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6 thoughts on “What is going on with the Washington Square Park Fountain?”

  1. The whole park remodel is such a disaster and waste of money. It was never needed. They just needed to clean up and get new benches and re do the large dog run. The dog run is now flooded with sewage with no drainage. The whole re model was a gigantic waste of money. TOTALLY A JOKE

  2. Actually, the renovation of the park has been amazing!!! The landscaping is beautiful, the pavement is very well done, and the benches are nice than before. And, as importantly, it seems cleaner as well, with a lot of the nasty homeless and mentally ill people no longer hanging around. Very well done, NYC!!!

  3. Hi Bladerunner, Yes, city could have just redone the walkways and the lawns and some of the greenery but not to the extent of reconfiguring every last inch of the park which is what they did. Agreed. Waste of money. Dog Run situation is crazy.

    Now, they have no money to maintain the park – this Parks Dept. is not overseen in any way. They spend all this money redesigning parks, not in the interest of the actual park users but in the interest of upping real estate values which is what the Bloomberg Admin. cares about. However, if the park can’t be maintained; well, then, that’s a problem in that respect too!

    Thanks for your comment.


  4. Hi Ethan,

    The park looks beautiful – there’s no doubt about it. It’s just all those things you mentioned could have been done for a lot less money if every piece, previously successful, in the old design hadn’t been torn up and moved into a new location!

    I would have stuck with the old benches tho’ or the newer version of them vs. the rainforest wood benches that seem to be designed to be less comfortable. Also this zig zag way the benches are laid out is somewhat disconcerting (it’s as if everything strives to make less connections between people).

    Yes, it looks very pretty and there are nice aspects to it. 🙂

    Thanks for reading & commenting!


  5. the renovation is fantastic and a very desperately needed improvement over the trashy old park. Everything about the reno is great; the new layout, the new plantings, the new historic lighting. Like any big & complex city project there are some problems (the 2 new trees that keep dying) and they will get fixed in time. Some of you may not have noticed but we are in a massive recession which has impacted all city budgets and that has nothing to do with the renovation but may impact things like when the fountain is turned on. The dog run will be re-done soon too and everyone will be thrilled in a few more years. I say this all as a nearby resident who uses the park almost daily and as an active member of an adjacent block association.

  6. Hi Damon,

    Thanks for writing. Everyone agreed the park needed an overhaul – whether it needed an entire facelift is a debate. There were some really nice aspects to the so-called “trashy old park.” Those two trees that keep dying around the fountain (a third is now on its way) could have been a problem “fixed” first time around if those involved in the designing would listen to others who know.

    Nonetheless, thank you for stopping by this blog, writing and enjoy. It’s nice to have the eastern side at last open I agree!



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