"Abingdon Square Park" Greenwich Village Tip by von.otter
Greenwich Village, New York City: 79 reviews and 197 photos
?Abingdon Square has been so long crowned with fine trees that a winding walkway ending in a little plaza, and bordered by a few shrubs and little bedding was all that could be satisfactorily done; shrubs and flowers would not thrive in such deep shade.?
? NYC Parks Superintendent Samuel Parsons Jr. wrote in 1892
The Abingdon Square Park, once part of a 300-acre estate bought by the Royal Naval officer Vice-Admiral Sir Peter Warren in 1740, was named for Warren?s daughter, Charlotte, Countess of Abingdon, who lived here during the 18th century. She married Willoughby Bertie, the fourth Earl of Abingdon in 1768; the land was a wedding gift from her father.
Measuring .222 acres, Abingdon Square is a trapezoidal-shaped plot of land bordered by Eight Avenue and Bank Street, Hudson Street, and West 12th Street (once called Troy Street). It has been a public park since 1836.
In 1921, 20,000 on-lookers gathered at the park to see New York Governor Alfred E. Smith unveil the Abingdon Square Memorial, also known as the Abingdon Doughboy (see photos #1, #2, and #3). This sculpture, designed by Philip Martiny (1858?1927), honors the memory of local men who gave their lives in the First World War. Standing on a gray granite pedestal, this dramatic bronze shows a foot soldier holding an American flag that engulfs him. This is one of my favorite works of public art in the city; its movement can be felt and the doughboy?s cry can be heard. The Jefferson Democratic Club made a gift of the monument; the organization?s headquarters stood across from the park on the site of today?s Emory Roth-designed co-op apartment house at 299 West 12th Street.
This monument was conserved in 1993. And the entire park was beautifully redesigned in the early years of the 21st century, featuring park benches, drinking fountains, flowering trees, and flowers, that Superintendent Parsons asserted would not thrive!
When ambling about the West Village this is an ideal spot to take a break and enjoy the world passing by. You can buy juice and a pastry or fruit from a vendor in the Saturday Farmers Market held here during the spring, summer and fall. The market rings the park?s perimeter, selling fresh fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods and flowers.
Address: Eighth Avenue and West 12th Street
Directions: Take the blue line subways A, C, or E to 14th Street and Eighth Ave stop. Walk four blocks south, against the Eighth Avenue traffic, to reach Abington Square Park.
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