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November 5, 2015

Discovering the Buried History of Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park

While upgrading century-old infrastructure in Washington Square Park, our construction crews received a huge surprise. Excavation of the area revealed a burial vault that most likely dates to the 19th century. Just a few days later, a second vault was discovered, containing coffins and nameplates. “DDC has stopped work at the specific location, which is on Washington Square Park East, near the intersection of Waverly Place to permit further evaluation by archeologists and anthropologists,” stated DDC Commissioner Peña-Mora. “Working together with the Landmarks Preservation Commission, DDC will evaluate the extent and significance of the vault and its contents. We are redesigning the work to accommodate findings of importance.”

Our construction crews will continue to excavate south of the burial vaults. For now, the vaults are protected and access will be restricted until further information is developed. Archeologists and anthropologists will be on site, along with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to continue exploration.

First of the two discovered burial vaults in Washington Square Park.

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