What a great guest post on the best fall activities in New York City! Find more live entertainment at the Daryl Roth Theatre. All entries are streets, circles, or squares unless otherwise noted See also:
In , at a time when the space was surrounded by empty lots, Samuel Ruggles , one of the founders of the Bank of Commerce and the developer of Gramercy Park to the northeast, convinced the city to rename the area as "Union Square" and enlarge the commons to 17th Street on the north and extend the axis of University Place to form the square's west side.
A fountain was built in the center of Union Square to receive water from the Croton Aqueduct , completed in The sole survivors of this early phase, though they have been much adapted and rebuilt, are a series of three- and four-story brick rowhouses, — Broadway, at the turn where Broadway exits the square at 17th Street.
The Everett House on the corner of 17th Street and Fourth Avenue built , demolished was for decades one of the city's most fashionable hotels. In the early years of the park a fence surrounded the square's central oval planted with radiating walks lined with trees.
In , Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux  were called in to replant the park, as an open glade with clumps of trees. At first the square, the last public space that functioned as the entrance to New York City,  was largely residential — the Union League Club first occupied a house loaned for the purpose by Henry G. Marquand at the corner of 17th Street and Broadway — but after the Civil War the neighborhood became largely commercial, and the square began to lose social cachet at the turn of the twentieth century.
The last of the neighborhood's free-standing private mansions, Peter Goelet's at the northeast corner of 19th Street, made way for a commercial building in The Rialto, New York City's first commercial theater district, was located in and around Union Square beginning in the s. It was called the Rialto after the commercial district in Venice. Before the Civil War , theatres in New York City were primarily located along Broadway and the Bowery up to 14th Street , with those on Broadway appealing more to the middle and upper classes and the Bowery theatres attracting immigrant audiences, clerks and the working class.
After the war, the development of the Ladies' Mile shopping district along Fifth and Sixth Avenues above 14th Street had the effect of pulling the playhouses uptown, so that a "Rialto" theatrical strip came about on Broadway between 14th and 23rd Streets, between Union Square and Madison Square. At the same time, a transition from stock companies, in which a resident acting company was based around a star or impresario, to a "combination" system, in which productions were put together on a one-time basis to mount a specific play, expanded the amount of outside support needed to service the theatrical industry.
Thus, suppliers of props, costumes, wigs, scenery, and other theatrical necessities grew up around the new theatres. The new system also needed an organized way to engage actors for these one-off productions, so talent brokers and theatrical agents sprang up, as did theatrical boardinghouses, stage photographers, publicity agencies, theatrical printers and play publishers. Along with the hotels and restaurants which serviced the theatregoers and shoppers of the area, the Union Square Rialto was, by the end of the century, a thriving theatrical neighborhood, which would soon nonetheless migrate uptown to what became known as " Broadway " as the Rialto became subsumed into the more vice-oriented Tenderloin entertainment district.
The park has historically been the start or the end point for many political demonstrations. In April , soon after the fall of Fort Sumter , it was the site of a patriotic rally of perhaps a quarter of a million people that is thought to have been the largest public gathering in North America up to that time.
In the summer of the north side of the square was the site of the Metropolitan Fair. Union Square has been a frequent gathering point for radicals of all stripes to make speeches or demonstrate. In , the recently formed Irish republican Fenian Brotherhood came out publicly and rented Dr.
John Moffat's brownstone rowhouse at 32 East 17th Street, next to the Everett House hotel facing the north side of the square, for the capitol of the government-in-exile they declared. Although the park was known for its labor union rallies and for the large gathering in support of Union troops, it was actually named for its location at the "union" of Bloomingdale Road now Broadway and Eastern Post Road now extinct decades before these gatherings.
On August 21, , Emma Goldman took the stage at Union Square to make her "Free Bread" speech to a crowd of overworked garment workers. She also addressed a crowd on May 20, , on the need for free access to birth control which was banned by the Comstock laws.
Her visits to Union Square pulled hundreds of followers; some of these rallies resulted in her arrest. Union Square has been used as a platform to raise awareness about the Black Lives Matter movement. The Square's shopping district saw strikes in the S.
Klein and Ohrbach department stores in White collar workers were among the worst paid in Great Depression era New York City, with union memberships being highly discouraged by store managers and often seen as fireable offenses. These strikes often involved acts of disobedience by the workers as many of them did not want to lose their jobs.
The centennial of Union Square was seen as a thinly veiled effort to displace those elements with its draping of the square with flags and police demonstrations of anti protester drills. Union Square was named a National Historic Landmark in , primarily to honor it as the site of the first Labor Day parade.
In the days and weeks following the September 11 terrorist attacks in , Union Square became a primary public gathering point for mourners. People created spontaneous candle and photograph memorials in the park and vigils were held to honor the victims. This was a natural role for the Square as Lower Manhattan below 14th Street, which forms Union Square's southern border, briefly became a "frozen zone," with no non-emergency vehicles allowed and pedestrians sometimes stopped and asked why they were venturing south by police and national guardsmen.
In fact, for the first few days following the attacks, only those who could prove residency below 14th Street could pass. The Square's tradition as a meeting place in times of upheaval was also a factor. In March , an eighteen-month renovation began on the northern end of the park. Proponents of the plan describe it as the completion of a renovation of Union Square Park that began in the mids that will improve the park by increasing the amount and quality of playground space, improving the quality and function of the public plaza, rehabilitating the badly deteriorating bandshell structure, improving the working conditions for park employees, and maintaining the "eyes on the street" presence of a restaurant at the heart of the park.
Protests and political action in response to the original renovation plans resulted in a reduction in the degree to which the pavilion was to be renovated, a reduction in the total amount of space that the restaurant would occupy, and an increase in the amount of dedicated play space, but stiff opposition remains to the idea that any commercial uses might occupy the pavilion.
Despite the fact that the overall amount of play space in the park will be increased as a result of the renovation, those critical of the plan claim that the bandshell pavilion itself ought to be converted to play space. Does this place or activity offer free wi-fi? Do you have to pay for wi-fi at this place or activity? Do children receive discounted pricing? Do seniors receive discounted pricing? Do students receive discounted pricing? Do veterans receive discounted pricing? Share another experience before you go.
Ways to Experience Union Square. Gramercy Walking Tour with Access to Players Show reviews that mention. All reviews farmers market green market whole foods holiday market chess players people watch dog park new york flatiron building for sale green space columbus circle bryant park great park street performers times square greenmarket. Reviewed 1 week ago Great Walking! Reviewed 2 weeks ago Great place to see alternative NYC life. Reviewed 2 weeks ago Amazing market. Reviewed 3 weeks ago so much fun.
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile Great place for food. Reviewed 3 weeks ago Just sit and watch to figure out people of NY. Reviewed 4 weeks ago Lots of interesting things. Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile Insanely Great People Watching. Reviewed September 11, I love spending some summer time here. Previous Next 1 2 3 4 5 6 … Nearby Hotels See all nearby hotels. Nearby Restaurants See all 15, nearby restaurants. Free Walking Tour — Every Saturday at 2pm.
Union Square Walking Tour. Their sister wine bar, Bar Jamon, next door is always packed as well with great service though terrible acoustics. Casual, great for kids and students. Henry wrote the Gift of The Magi. More Union Square Restaurants. And everywhere in between. The Guardian Life building — designed in the Beaux-Arts style — is a magnificent granite and limestone structure with all the exquisite details inherent in traditional European architecture. New York City Boutique Hotels.
Steps from Union Square, the hotel boasts the Medieval Rose Bar local business favorite , exclusive only to guests who have booked a table with the concierge.
The rooftop garden, open year-round, provides spectacular city views. New York City Luxury Hotels. From there, the city is at your feet and you can bike South for views of the World Trade Center and Statue of Liberty, plus great places to eat along the way. Bike north and grab yourself a lunch at the Boat Basin Cafe or head into Central Park and explore acres of lush greenery.
Check out their romatantic Mr. G package which includes perks like one dozen roses, deluxe accommodations, champagne, spa treatments and more!
In New York City, you can find popular fashion boutiques like DSW and Filene's Basement, along with superstores like Whole Foods and Virgin Megastore, in pretty much any neighborhood. But only in Union Square—home to the NYU dorms—can you shop in the biggest Barnes & Noble in the city, located within a restored cast iron building with a brick façade. Top Shopping & Malls in Union Square: See reviews and photos of Shopping & Malls in Union Square, New York City (New York) on TripAdvisor. Where it is: Union Square Park stretches from 14th Street to 17th Street, and from Union Square East (Fourth Avenue/Park Avenue South) to University Place. The attractions in this article extend into the surrounding neighborhoods, including Gramercy, the Flatiron District, the .