Union Square, New York

Union Square, New York

Named so for being an intersection of New York's once two major thoroughfares – Bloomingdale Road (today's Broadway) and the currently extinct Eastern Post Road, Union Square has been the scene of many gatherings (social, political and other) throughout its long history.

In 1831, developer Simon Ruggles, the then owner of the surrounding lands, convinced the city to rename the area as "Union Square" and worked further with the NYC corporation to fence and develop the area, eventually turning it from a triangular to a rectangular form. At first, the place served as an entrance to New York City and was a residential neighborhood. After the Civil War, the area became a commercial hub. Famous rallies took place here including the patriotic rally with a quarter of a million people gathered in support of the Union troops after the fall of Fort Sumter during the American Civil War, and the historic Labor Day March, one of the first workers' demonstrations in the world that inspired workers movements all over the world. More recently, the square was a public gathering point for mourners after the terror attacks on September 11th, 2001.

Why You Should Visit:
Many interesting things worth checking out here, including: the central fountain, subway kiosks, equestrian statue of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln statue, a sculpture of Marquis de Lafayette, a sculpture of Gandhi, plus a year-round greenmarket where you can sample goods from local farmers. It also has several playgrounds, a lively holiday market, and benches you can sit on and watch a slice of New York go by. Cafes and restaurants also abound, so no need to worry about food.

Tip:
Stop by the Union Square station to read messages on the sticky notes left by passers-by, and feel free to leave one of your own!

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in New York. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Union Square on Map

Sight Name: Union Square
Sight Location: New York, USA (See walking tours in New York)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in New York, New York

Create Your Own Walk in New York

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Creating your own self-guided walk in New York is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
NYC's Chinatown and Little Italy Walking Tour

NYC's Chinatown and Little Italy Walking Tour

New York's Little Italy and Chinatown were places that attracted Italian and Chinese immigrants in the late 1800s, with densely packed ethnic communities having grown around them, as they brought their customs, food and language. In the 1960s, however, right around the time that Italians stopped coming to the city in large numbers, Chinese immigrants did the opposite, hence why Little Italy...  view more

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Columbia University Walking Tour

Columbia University Walking Tour

Established in 1754, Columbia University is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest in the U.S. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, a member of the prestigious Ivy League, and is ranked among the top universities in the world.

Columbia's main campus was designed along Beaux-Arts planning principles and...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Best of Lower Manhattan Walking Tour

Best of Lower Manhattan Walking Tour

Every part of Manhattan is terrific, but if you are looking for one that affords the best overview of New York City’s architectural styles, it’s Lower Manhattan – or the Downtown – that would get the most votes. This is where it all started, where New Amsterdam was founded, where Canal Street used to be a canal and where Wall Street used to be a wall marking the end of town. It’s also...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Times Square to Central Park

Times Square to Central Park

A leisurely self-guided stroll from Times Square to Central Park will take you to some of NYC’s prominent locations, each worth visiting in their own right.

At 49th Street, Fifth Avenue lives up to its lofty reputation with the Rockefeller Center, one of the world’s biggest business and entertainment complexes, and a triumph of Art Deco architecture. Like the neighboring Times Square, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Manhattan Shopping Tour

Manhattan Shopping Tour

Midtown Manhattan is certainly the shopping hub for New York City, and the famed Fifth Avenue has long been synonymous with a shopper's paradise where you can find every kind of store imaginable, ranging from the affordable to ultra-fancy fashion brands and luxury goods. Whether it’s Prada, Tiffany or Bergdorf Goodman, these brands, among many others, symbolize wealth and social standing,...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles
Midtown Manhattan Walking Tour

Midtown Manhattan Walking Tour

Welcome to the iconic New York City that so many tourists dream about before they visit – spectacular skyscrapers, iconic public buildings, large neon flat screens above ground level and the non-stop activity on city streets.

They say if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere, and Times Square, Broadway, is definitely a part of that slogan. Day time or night time, it’s one of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles

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