Did #WashingtonSquarePark used to be dangerous?


Did Washington Square Park used to be dangerous?


In trying to find a more detailed answer to this question I came across an article from 1983 titled ‘Crime Rises in a Darkened Washington Square Park’. 

The below excerpt of the article paints a picture of what the park used to be like:

“Groups of two or three men stake out a dim corner of the park, and that is their office for the evening.

Most of the lights in the park do not work. For nearly five months, they have remained unconnected.

”Nickel bags, hash, ups, downs,” a voice from the shadows mutters constantly. ”Nickel bags, hash, ups, downs. . . .”

”Looking for smoke?” a youth in a black ski parka demands of a passer- by.”

During the first ten months of 1983, the statistics show, there were 545 arrests and 2,764 summonses issued in Washington Square Park

Now, Washington Square Park is clean, rich and has next to no crime.

For those of you interested in how New York used to look check out this book. Also, a great gift.

Another great article with pictures here.


New York Times

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