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Union Square Park near Lower Manhattan, NYC

Union Square Park


Union Square Walking Tour:
Rioters, Revelers and Retailers!

Was it labor union rallies, Civil War Union troops, or the “union” of main thoroughfares that gave Union Square its name? Learn the fascinating history of New York’s original “village green” and site of the first Labor Day celebration in a free 90-minute walking tour sponsored by the Union Square Partnership and Big Onion Walking Tours. Saturdays at 2pm. The tour begins at the Abraham Lincoln statue by the 16th Street transverse in Union Square Park. Look for the guide holding a Union Square: Crossroads of New York sign. Reservations required for groups. For more information, please call (212) 517-1826.

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Photo taken just outside of Union Square Park featuring the buildings surrounding the park as well as its trees.
Photo taken just outside of Union Square Park featuring the buildings surrounding the park as well as its trees.

At the cross section of 4th Ave and Broadway between 14th & 17th Sts is Union Square Park…Having undergone a construction transformation over the past several years, this park is up and running again. As a matter of fact on Saturday, September 12, 1998 our Mayor, Governor and other bigwigs joined in the dedication of this park as a National Historic Landmark. A selection made by the National Parks Service.

This park was also the site of the very first Labor Day Parade in 1882. With this in mind, the park according to our Governor had been the focal point for political expression. About a 100 years ago and later, the park was host to workers’ rallies, political protests and mass demonstrations.

On a different note, Union Square hosts a Greenmarket Farmers Market. It takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at the North plaza of Union Square Park (8 AM – 6 PM) The Greenmarket features fresh produce, plants and food from local farmers. From homemade mufins, wines, peanut butter and pies to all sorts of vegetables and fare, you’d have found quite a bit here at the park. That is, just outside of the park on the Broadway side.

At the southern end you’ll find the statue of Gandhi and another of George Washington on horse and further within, one of Lafayette which was a gift to the city from French residents for our nation’s sympathy during the Franco-German War. At the northern end of the park is the statue Lincoln. The many benches throughout the park make this a favorite rest stop for many natives, tourists and even the students from nearby NYU.

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