Construction on the fountain in Washington Square Park continues. It is being moved some feet to the right to make its center align with the arch and fifth avenue. To know more about the controversy behind the “redesign” of the park check out Washington Square Park blog.

The park’s history is the struggle of American urbanization writ small. Since the time of Robert Moses, anti-urbanists have tried to break it up or privatize it. Moses succeeded in extending 5th Ave. through it, and wanted to widen LaGuardia place to make it a thoroughfare, but Jane Jacobs and Shirley Hayes blocked the plan. The street was closed and Moses, who is legendary for bulldozing over neighborhood residents’ objections, was successfully checked for the first time. Ric Burns’s New York documentary is also a great place to learn more about Moses and the anti-urbanists.

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