Verdi Square

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Verdi Square, with sculpture of Giuseppe Verdi
The bronze luminaire once stood by the Firemen's Memorial at Riverside Drive at 100th Street; it was re-erected here at the refurbishing of Verdi Square in 2004.[1]

Verdi Square is a small triangle on Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City. It is between 72nd Street on the south, 73rd Street on the north, Broadway on the west, and Amsterdam Avenue on the east. On the south the square fronts West 72nd Street; across the street to the south lies Sherman Square. On the north side, the park faces the Apple Bank for Savings' central building at 2112 Broadway, designed by York and Sawyer.[2]

The square has been designated as an official city scenic landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.[3]

Monument[edit]

In the center of Verdi Square stands a monument to the opera composer Giuseppe Verdi, erected in 1906.[4] A statue of him by Pasquale Civiletti (1858–1952) stands at the top of it and statues of four characters from his operas are on the base below him: Falstaff on the west side of the statue; Leonora of La forza del destino on the south side; Aida on the north side; and Otello on the east side. In the landscaping devised by Lynden Miller in 2004, flowers around the statue bloom in the spring and summer months.[1]

Subway head house[edit]

The 72nd Street station's original control house just south of Verdi Square

The 72nd Street station, served by the New York City Subway's 1, ​2, and ​3 trains, lies under the square. A head house inside Verdi Square provides access to the station.[5] The head house was built in 2002 on the former northbound lane of Broadway.[6] Immediately south of the square is another head house, built in 1904, which is one of the IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line's three remaining original head houses.[7]: 2–3 [8]: 4 

History[edit]

In the 1960s and 1970s Verdi Square and Sherman Square were known by local drug users and dealers as "needle park"[9] as depicted in The Panic in Needle Park (1971).

In 2006 a group of Upper West Side music lovers in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation created the annual Verdi Square Festival of the Arts: a series of three free outdoor September Sunday afternoon concerts presenting young musicians in repertoire ranging from opera to bluegrass. The festival brings music back to a square frequented by Caruso, Chaliapin, Toscanini, the Gershwin brothers and other famous musicians.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pollak, Michael (January 21, 2007). "Riders on the Storm". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  2. ^ Gray, Christopher (April 17, 2005). "73rd and Broadway; At a Landmark Bank Building, Change is in the Air". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-02.
  3. ^ "Verdi Square" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. January 28, 1975. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  4. ^ Upper West Side: Verdi Square
  5. ^ Gray, Christopher (May 19, 2002). "Streetscapes/Subway Platforms; Letting the Sun Shine In". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  6. ^ Lee, Denny (February 4, 2001). "Neighborhood Report: Upper West Side; A Messy Construction Project Grows Even More Tangled". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 21, 2020.
  7. ^ "Interborough Rapid Transit System, 72nd Street Control House" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. January 9, 1979. Retrieved November 19, 2019.
  8. ^ "New York MPS Control House on 72nd Street". Records of the National Park Service, 1785 - 2006, Series: National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Program Records, 2013 - 2017, Box: National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks Program Records: New York, ID: 75313849. National Archives.
  9. ^ Shepard, Richard F. (April 8, 1988). "Strolling Up Broadway, The West Side's Spine". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-18.
  10. ^ "Verdi Square Festival".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°46′44.5″N 73°58′54″W / 40.779028°N 73.98167°W / 40.779028; -73.98167