The Rape of Washington Square


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

May 1, 1957, Vol. II, No. 27

Road Through ‘Square’ Likely

The long-threatened plan to push a roadway through Washington Square seemed closer to becoming a reality last week. A large number of Villagers were disturbed to read in last Thursday’s metropolitan papers a story indicating that Borough President Hulan E. Jack and Traffic Commissioner T.T. Wiley were agreed on specific plans for a new traffic artery…Both…share the view that a roadway through the park, connecting Fifth Avenue with West Broadway, is essential to relieve traffic congestion in Lower Manhattan.

The Rape of the Square

The battle over Washington Square Park has been going on for so many years now that the whole subject has become something of a bore. We suspect this is exactly what the Moses forces have been waiting for all along, a waning of public interest so that their plans to drive a sunken highway through the middle of the park can be quietly “expedited” while nobody is actually looking. In any event, it now appears that the Moses and Wiley crowd are being tacitly aided by Borough President Hulan Jack, all the latter’s disclaimers to the contrary notwithstanding, and that they have every chance of getting just what they wanted from the beginning…Human beings can be stronger even than Robert Moses, if they ever decide to get really angry about it. If Villagers don’t want to see that ditch go through, they’d better express their feelings NOW, in no uncertain terms, to Hulan Jack, to Carmine DeSapio, and to other political leaders in and out of this community.

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]