Field Notes: Greeley Square – New York City, New York
Celebrated editor and political leader Horace Greeley (1811-1872) launched the New York Tribune in 1841. From its pages, he had an enormous influence on American popular opinion. Greeley’s famous advice, “Go West, young man, go West,” inspired generations of Americans to seek their fortunes on the new frontier. He advocated protectionism, abolition of slavery, labors rights, and political reform. Greeley ran for President against Ulysses S. Grant in 1872.
This triangular park in the heart of the old newspaper and printing district was named in Greeley’s honor. The City of New York acquired the site in 1846 in connection with the opening of Bloomingdale Road (now Broadway). The bronze monument of Greeley by sculptor Alexander Doyle was dedicated in 1890.
The park was reconstructed in 1940 when Fiorella H. LaGuardia was Mayor and Robert Moses, Commissioner of the Department of Parks. The park was reconstructed again in 1999. and is today funded and managed by the 34th Street Partnership.
Herald and Greeley Squares: Then and Now
Herald and Greeley Squares have long been major destinations for commuters, tourists, and shoppers. Starting in 1998 with improvements to the parks, the 34th Street Partnership started making improvements to the area to meet the pedestrian demand.
In 2009, as part of the Green Light for Midtown pilot project, DOT created plazas with interim materials adding both circulation space and programmable space. The pedestrians plazas at Herald and Greeley Squares have been hugely successful.
What they found was that the creation of the plazas in 2009 significantly improved safety in the area. Between the years 2006-2009, 267 crashes were reported. Between the years of 2009-2012, crashes decreased by 51%.
Starting in October 2018 public input was sought for future improvements to Greeley Square.
Back in May and October of 2018, the NYC DOT Street Ambassadors collected 98 surveys at Herald and Greeley. A similar survey was available online here on our portal. Last week, our survey was officially closed to new responses and the result are in.