At the junction of the Flatiron, Chelsea, NoMad and Gramercy neighborhoods, Madison Square Park is a place to take a lunch break, walk a dog, or view one of the art exhibitions displayed within. Perhaps even more so, the park is simply a thoroughfare to get from one destination to another.

History (and a little internet research) proves that this park is so much more, though. Since it was first used as public space in 1686 (that’s 329 years ago!), it has also served as:

-a hunting ground
-a potter’s field (mass grave of unknowns)
-a military training area
-home of the NY Knickerbocker Baseball Club (one of the first pro baseball teams)
-a display platform for the arm and torch of the Statue of Liberty before the statue was finalized

This park is a true representation of New York City: ever changing and adaptive. What we see today is merely a layer that, if stripped away, would reveal another time, a layer that will eventually be buried by our future.

Historical tidbits via the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Contemporary view of Madison Square Park brought to you by Keith Lavit.