Union Square (New York City)

From Academic Kids

Union Square is an important and historic intersection in New York City.

Union Square is located where Broadway and the Bowery came together in the early 19th century. Today it is bounded by 14th Street, Union Square East, 17th Street, and Union Square West. Important thoroughfares which lead away from the park are Broadway, leading both north and south; Fourth Avenue, leading southeast to the Bowery; and Park Avenue South. Union Square is also the site of an important subway station, where the 4, 5, 6, L, N, Q R, and W trains stop. Neighborhoods around the park are the Flatiron District to the north, Chelsea to the west, Greenwich Village and New York University (which uses several buildings in the area as dormitories) to the south, and Gramercy to the east.

Union Square is noted for its impressive equestrian statue of George Washington, created by Henry Kirke Brown and unveiled in 1856. In April 1861, soon after the fall of Fort Sumter, Union Square was the site of a patriotic rally that is thought to have been the largest public gathering in North America up to that time. A newer addition, added in 1986, is a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the southwest corner of the park.

Union Square is also known for its greenmarket and is known as the starting point for many political demonstrations, most notably the 2004 Republican National Convention protest activity.

In the days and weeks following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Union Square became a primary public gathering point for mourners and activists promoting peace. People created spontaneous memorials in Union Square, and the square was the setting for vigils held to honor the victims of the attacks.

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