The renovation of Washington Square Park has led to many discussions regarding the makeover's impact on the free-for-all spirit of "Greenwich Village's backyard." Criticism has fallen on everything from the folky-unfriendly fences, to the new benches, which some people think were intentionally made uncomfortable to prevent lingering. The park's restrooms, however, have gone largely overlooked, and one angry Curbed reader would like a word:
They spent millions of dollars moving a fountain 5 feet in washington square park, yet the public bathrooms there dont have any stalls. Rather, there are regular toilets (automatic flush ones mind you!) but no walls and doors surrounding them, so you can take a crap while rubbing legs with the person taking a crap with you. We intended to play this up as an amusing reader rant, until we dispatched Curbed & Sons intern Matt Duckor to the scene to snap a photo. Here's what transpired:
This is the reason that the parks dude who was cleaning the bathrooms gave me: "They took the stalls out before the renovations. There were too many gays together in there. You know, this is washington square park. You'd look and see four legs when there should be two in a stall! Crazy! Now there's none of that. Can't do that out in the open."
Yikes. When I asked him if there were planning on putting stalls back in, he said that I'd have to talk to his supervisor. Even millions can't change washington square park, apparently.
Maybe they can! The Parks Department's Washington Square Park Reconstruction plan includes a "new comfort station" during the third phase, which we take to mean restrooms. Stalls that sound an alarm when they detect hanky-panky, perhaps?
· Washington Square Park Reconstruction [Parks Department]
· Washington Square Park coverage [Curbed]