A small, diagonal pocket park lies at the intersection of Seventh and Greenwich Avenues in the West Village. Its name: Mulry Square. Not many people know of it apart from the locals who walk their dogs, run, or pass by it on their way to work every day. Yet this small triangle of green is now a lighting rod of controversy thanks to New York City’s beloved Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Underneath this stretch runs one of the city’s busiest subway lines, carrying the 1, 2, and 3 between 14th Street and Christopher Street stations. For safety reasons, the MTA needs to build a ventilation shaft and emergency exit, and Mulry Square is the only empty lot where this is possible. Unfortunately, the park sits at the dead center of Manhattan’s largest historic district.