Land use. It’s spicy, it’s sexy, and it’s been a point of contention between NYU and Village residents for the past 60 years. We joke now that Washington Square Park is basically our campus, but the land grabs and subsequent periods of construction that have led to NYU owning most of the land around the park did not come to pass without significant community backlash.
Today’s anti-2031 protests are nothing new. Generations of Village residents have fought for the version of the Village that preceded their present moment. They are not the first residents to be bummed out at how the Square has changed.