The Garden was completed in 1959 by the landscape architecture firm of Sasaki, Walker and Associates (more about the landscape architecture later). It is a landmark site. It is a historic landscape. It is a significant example of Modernist design.
"Another Greenwich Village superblock is making news. The New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) recently ruled Washington Square Village, the double-slab apartment complex just north of Silver Towers, eligible for the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The ruling includes the elevated landscaped plaza at the center of the complex, one of the earliest parking structure roof gardens in the country. The SHPO evaluation notes that the complex meets 'Criterion C' as an impressive example of postwar urban renewal planning and design." (DOCOMOMO New York/Tri-State)
"...the design is an early project for a firm strongly associated with the Modern movement and displays an exceptional harmony of architecture, landscape architecture, and art." (The Cultural Landscape Foundation)
"In April 2011, the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) determined that the Washington Square Village complex [which includes the Garden] is sufficiently significant to qualify for possible listing in the State and National Register of Historic Places." (The Cultural Landscape Foundation)
"Unfortunately, the nationally significant, unique and therefore irreplaceable landscapes at Washington Square Village and Christian Science Center (built 1972) face uncertain futures owing to construction and development pressures. The 12-acre Washington Square Village, with its one and one half-acre garden, and the 25-acre European-inspired, classic urban space at Christian Science Center, with its 686-foot long reflecting pool, are still revolutionary, sophisticated, tightly unified urban compositions." (Charles A. Birnbaum for HuffPo)
"As whole neighborhoods were demolished in the urban renewal fever of the 1960's -- a movement much criticized now for erasing cultural history -- Mr. Sasaki's designers produced Copley Square in Boston, Constitution Plaza in Hartford and Washington Square Village in Manhattan. The designs played with earth shapes, using hard materials, and juxtaposed what Mr. Sasaki called biomorphic shapes against geometric ones, celebrating yet set apart from the modern buildings they framed." (New York Times, Sept. 25, 2000)
"In addition to the post-World War II industrial parks Sasaki created for commercial giants John Deere and Upjohn, he designed such landmark urban spaces as Boston's Copley Square, New York's Washington Square Village and the St. Louis Gateway Mall." (Los Angeles Times, Sept. 27, 2000)
Read reason #5 here.
Read reason #6 here.
Read reason #7 here.
Read reason #8 here.
Read reason #9 here.
Read reason #10 here.