Union Square Park Extra Info

SELF QUIZ    Ten Questions on Union Square Park (click to open pdf)

RECOMMENDATIONS for extra reading


1831    Union Square was authorized as a public space by the New York State Legislature. The place was named for its position at the intersection (the union) of two main thoroughfares of the early 19th century, Broadway and the former Bowery Road (now Fourth Avenue). (See New York City Department of Parks and Recreation history for Union Square)

1882, Sept. 5     A parade, speeches and demonstrations at Union Square Park in New York City marked the first labor day celebration in the United States. Click on the image below to read about newspaper coverage of that event:


The Parade at Union Square, 1882 (From Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, September 16, 1882)

1976     The Union Square Greenmarket  was opened.

1987     The Lower East Side Ecology Center was founded as a non-for-profit organization. Co-founders were Christine Datz Romero and Clyde Romero.  Today the LESEC provides sustainability education, training and stewardship programs, and e-waste recycling.

1994      The LESEC opened a food waste collection site at Union Square Park to coincide with the Greenmarket hours and days.

1997       Union Square Park was designated as a National Historic Landmark

2002        A series of bronze plaques created by Gregg LeFevre were set into the sidewalks at Union Square Park —  The plaques, distributed in and around the edges of the park, offer depictions of the history of the neighborhood and labor history of New York City. 

2017       June 2, The New York Times, “How New York is Turning Food Waste into Compost and Gas”