Sunday, October 04, 2009

Civic Center, Foley Square, Bounded by Centre, Lafayette and Worth Streets

I apologize for missing a couple of posts lately and will make up for it by flooding you with photographs and extra posts. How's that?

Part of the problem is there's so much down here. So much history – everything has a story. For example, tonight I'm going to concentrate on Foley Square. Within Foley Square is Thomas Paine Park. I could talk about Thomas Foley, Thomas Paine, or the sculpture, Triumph of the Human Spirit. I could talk about the old Collect Pond which was originally on this site or I could talk about the infamous Five Points, which was built over the drained Collect Pond. I could talk about The Story Corps, also located on Foley Square. It's dizzying.  Tonight I'll just talk about a few.

Foley Square is a big paved space bounded by Centre, Lafayette and Worth Streets. It is not square. In 1926 it was named for Thomas Foley, a Tammany Hall leader and saloon-keeper who had died in 1925. Strangely enough, I couldn't find much of anything about Foley on the web, but I went into the NY Times archives and found this about his funeral. Take a look; it has Governor Al Smith going unescorted, just walking down the street like any other citizen.

Mary Sargent © 2009 …………………xxxxx....x………………….. click to enlarge

This is the north end of the square, looking south-west, and it was obviously taken on a different day than the rest of the Foley Square shots.  A nicer day.  The sign says Thomas Paine Park, named for the great and important patriot of the Revolution.  He said, "My country is the world, and my religion is to do good."  Well said, Tom Paine.

Mary Sargent © 2009 x………………….. click to enlarge

This is looking west toward the Jacob Javits Federal Building.  Another reviled building, about which more later.

Mary Sargent © 2009 ………………….. click to enlarge

And this is looking north, back through the Thomas Paine Park and toward 80 Centre Street where the Grand Jury meets.

Last post showed you the Square looking east toward the New York Supreme Court.

See map.


Ken Pent said...

Is that where letterman went?

Mary Sargent said...

There are three morning Grand Juries. I think the other two meet at 100 Centre Street, the building just north of 80, and one of them got Letterman. We complained a lot about that.