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Union Square


New York, USA


Street name

For nearly 170 years Union Square has been a gathering place for commerce, entertainment, labor and political events, and recreation. Union Square is noted for its impressive equestrian statue of George Washington. It takes its name not from any association with trade or labor unions but for having originated as a confluence of two major roads in New York City, Bloomingdale Road (now Broadway) and Bowery Road (now Fourth Avenue). Union Square opened to the public in 1839. Its paths, situated among lushly planted grounds, were inspired by the fashionable residential squares of London. The design emphasized the park’s oval shape (enclosed by an iron picket fence) and focused on a large central fountain. In 1928-29 Union Square was completely demolished to accommodate a new underground concourse for the subway. Threatened by general misuse, deterioration, and the presence of drug dealers in the 1970s, Union Square has recently undergone a dramatic transformation. In 1997 it was designated as a National Historic Landmark because of its significance in American labor history.

Union Square

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