Burial Vault Found Beneath Washington Square Park
New York water mains work unveils 19th century burial vault under Greenwich Village Washington Square Park.
“Never would we have imagined to find a burial vault from the 19th century”, said DDC spokeswoman Shavone Williams, adding that the skeletal remains are likely from about “a dozen people”.
At least a decade old: The vault is believed to date back to the 19th century but further investigation by archaeologists and anthropologists is needed to determine the significance of the findings. A few of the skeletons have name plates. This vault is “well-preserved”, with the door and lock being intact, according to city officials. It appears to rather be the burial grounds of one or two churches no longer in existence.
Archaeologists and anthropologists will visit the site, which is at the east end of the park near Waverly Pl., to gather information and better historically place the 8- by 20-foot chamber. Historians have estimated that as many as 20,000 New Yorkers may have been buried during the field’s almost 30-year run. The vault is being protected and passage by vehicles and pedestrians will be restricted.
WCBS reports the vault was found mere steps away from an area that was used as a public burial ground after the Revolutionary War.