Washington Square Arch to Open to the Public? NY City Council Hearing to Address TODAY

washington square park arch fountain plaza greenwich village

The Washington Square Park Arch has been off-limits to the public for some time now. I‘ve wondered how “fragile” it really is inside, which is what the Parks Department says, or if the agencys Art & Antiquities Department really just wants to keep it to themselves. Would you if you could? Would you go in late at night read poetry, drink wine and set off balloons like the Arch Conspirators…? Perhaps in that spirit (they had to sneak in after all), there is apparently a movement out there trying to get access to the inside of the monument opened up to the public!

And there is actually a City Council hearing today to address this – as well as other Parks Department properties in NYC that are also currently off-limits – at City Hall at 1 p.m. in the Council Committee Room.

Thanks to Untapped Cities for the heads up: Testify at NYC City Hall About Opening Parks Currently Inaccessible to the Public:

Tomorrow, the New York City Council Parks Committee will hold a hearing about New York City Parks Department properties currently inaccessible to the public. These happen to be some of our favorite off-limits places – like North Brother Island, the Queens Pavilion, Hart Island, Washington Square Park Arch, and the Old Croton Aqueduct. Testimony is open to the public, so if (like us) you think more access to places owned by the public would be good for New York, show up and make your voice heard. The hearing is at 1:00 PM on Thursday at another one of our favorite sites – City Hall

We believe this is the first time that a hearing specifically has been called by City Council about increasing public access to public places in New York. It’s a great chance to show City Council, the administration, and the press that there is support from civic organizations and from New Yorkers overall for more and better public access to its public spaces and monuments. The more people who come testify the better – please spread the word to everyone you think may be interested.

Sorry for the late notice! I just found out about this as well.
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Previously at Washington Square Park Blog:

The Wall Street Journal Goes Inside the Washington Square Arch! March 8, 2011

Photo: Vera Penavic for Untapped Cities

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2 thoughts on “Washington Square Arch to Open to the Public? NY City Council Hearing to Address TODAY”

  1. 1 or 2 days a Year the Washington Square arch Door is Open…I have been inside and 2 the Roof numerous times. There is even a Fireplace..not sure it works..but there is . I believe the Arch is Open May 1st or there abouts.

    • Hi Gregory,

      Kudos to you for getting in “numerous times” but the Arch is not open to the public one or two days a year. The Parks Department typically lets one journalist in once a year or so. They are too worried about its fragility. But, if you can let me know when you actually went in and found it open to the public, I would be curious.

      I forgot that there had been a hearing back in 2016 about this so thanks for your comment and the reminder.



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