The upgrading of Washington Square Park has attracted a lot of debate, and the NY times tries to summarize the situation before things get underway with the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The main changes the park will undergo: The fountain will move to be aligned with the arch; the elevation will be leveled off; dog runs will be relocated; the asphalt mounds will go; a lawn will replace the plaza; and most notably, a "four-foot-high granite and iron fence would go up along the perimeter, along with gates that would be locked at night." And Gothamist really believed that the only fence WSP would have is that ugly chain link one around the arch. Washington Square Park is a downtown jewel, but part of its charm, as residents have repeatedly said, has been its slightly ramshackle quality and motley group of characters, even ones you're afraid of. Gothamist imagines walking around WSP will be a lot like walking around Gramercy Park, but with even more drunk NYU kids looking for a place to rest their weary feet. And we guess this means people will have to leave their drug trolling for the daylight hours (remember the Pot Princess?).
What do you think of the plans? Is this the city's move to Disneyify everything and bow to the pressure of the rich and powerful, or are the changes legitimate? Miss Representation on the Washington Square Park fence situation. Also, photographs of Washington Square Park over the years and a list of completed Parks projects in the park - this new one is the most ambitious yet. And movies that have filmed at Washington Square Park - we're partial to Searching for Bobby Fischer, Serpico and The Freshman.