The Washington Square Arch, built between 1890 and 1895, is an iconic historical landmark in NYC. But have you ever wondered what it looked like on the inside? Or what the view is from the top?
Well now you can get a sneak peek! The NYC Parks Department took a trip inside and up to the top on a recent video tour you can see below.
The group enters through a hidden (very short!) wooden door in the base of the arch, and climbs up a spiral staircase that is 102 steps long. You can see the old, brick-lined walls in the very narrow space.
The arch was designed by prominent architect Stanford White, and you see through the video that it’s more of a building than an art display. As they make their way into the main room, you can see three skylights coming in from the top of the arch and George Vellonakis, Executive Director of the Washington Square Park Conservancy, points out the period Guastavino tile that was also used in the Grand Central Oyster Bar.
The structure was most recently renovated 10 years ago, and this space is where the conservancy works to maintain the structure, make sure the roof isn’t leaking, etc. The north side of the arch has two sculptures of the Park’s namesake, Commander in Chief George Washington.
Then the hatch opens onto the roof, with a gorgeous bird’s eye view of the park that you can’t get anywhere else.
You can see One World Trade toward the south side. Toward the north, you can make out the Empire State Building and a cluster of trees at the edge of Central Park.
For most of its history (a whopping 99 years), traffic came right through the Park up until 1959, and buses were able to go through until 1969.
The arch isn’t open to the public as of now, but maybe it will be one day!
featured image source: Facebook / Washington Square Park Conservancy