“Save the Square!”: The Fight for Washington Square Park

Janes Walk

Led By Grace Wagner

The battle between city planner Robert Moses and urban preservation activist Jane Jacobs is well-documented. But it was Shirley Hayes, Greenwich Village resident and mother of four, who began the fight, waging a seven-year campaign to prevent Moses from creating a four-lane thoroughfare directly through Washington Square Park. As we walk through the history of Hayes’ efforts to “Save the Square,” we will visit The Village Voice headquarters, residences of neighbors and fellow advocates Eleanor Roosevelt and Edward Hopper, and the park grounds where folksingers Joan Baez and Bob Dylan performed in the wake of Hayes’ victory. This walk will reflect on the power of individuals to advocate for change within communities.

The walk will be in the park and on Greenwich Village sidewalks. The entire distance we will cover, with several stops along the way, will be just over a mile.
Location Information

RSVP is required and capacity is limited. Meeting location, ending location, and directions will be provided via email before walk date.


Saturday, May 6, 2023
11:00 AM
Less than 1 hour

Borough: Manhattan
Theme: Advocacy, Environment, History & Culture
Language: English
Washington Square Park. Photo: courtesy of Washington Square Park Conservancy. Modifications: photo cropped.