One of our favorite secret spaces is the inside of the Washington Square Arch, specifically the vaulted attic that most people don't even know exists. That's because the innards of the arch?designed by Stanford White and completed in 1895?are off-limits to the public because of safety concerns. But people occasionally make it to the top, and the latest person to climb the spiral staircase and take in the unique view of Washington Square Park and beyond is the Wall Street Journal's Ralph Gardner. He describes the experience:
Looking north, you get a clear shot all the way up Fifth Avenue. The skyscrapers of Wall Street rise to the south, the construction of the Freedom Tower proceeding apace and now clearly visible. Just below you is the park itself, brittle and beautiful in the winter morning light, and the genteel Greek Revival townhouses of Washington Square North.The inside of the arch, which was once used as a Parks Department office(!) and was occasionally broken into by beatniks, has been fixed up during the various restorations. Too bad few get to see it. Open House New York, you listening?
· Inside the Washington Arch [WSJ]
· Inside the Washington Square Arch: Where's the Weed At? [Curbed]