For about 150 years, the Washington Square Park Fountain has stood in the exact center of the Park. The Arch is a relative
newcomer, a mere 100 years or so, and was sited for aesthetic reasons at the end of Fifth Avenue. Through renovation after
renovation, these icons of the Park have stood where they are.
A photo from space
Notice how the fountain is at the exact center of the Park, irrespective of the streets
One of the biggest potential boondoggles of the currently planned redesign is the movement of the fountain some 21 feet to
line up with the arch. This is not something that should be done in Greenwich Village. The streets are crooked and so is the
Park. Let's keep it that way.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen
and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with
his shadow on the wall."
There is also a high risk factor regarding ripping out and moving the fountain. The fountain, and indeed most of the park,
was built over cemeteries from the 18th and 19th centuries. Finding remains during the construction could delay completion
of the project for years.
The Tisch Fountain
$2.5 million and it's theirs (and moved 21 feet away)
There was a crooked man,
And he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence,
Beside a crooked stile;
He bought a crooked cat,
Which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together,
In a little crooked house.