100-Year-Old Bones Discovered In Vault Near New York City Park
An eerie sight unfolded in New York City Thursday morning when construction workers unearthed human remains buried near the edge of Washington Square Park in downtown Manhattan.
The workers were upgrading century-old water mains along Washington Square Park East when they discovered skeletal remains buried deep inside an underground vault.
The discovery is just steps from several NYU campus buildings.
Now, people are wondering how the remains ended up there and who these people might be.
“It doesn’t creep me as much as it just intrigues me,” said Julia Gouny of Greenwich Village. “If it were more recent it might be creepy; if it were from, like, the 1980s.”
“It would be interesting to figure out who they are,” Gouny added. “You would think that they wouldn’t have been preserved that long, so it’s really fascinating.”
Officials believe the burial vault dates back to the 19th century when Washington Square Park was used as a potter’s field – a public burial place – after the Revolutionary War.
The vault is approximately 8 feet deep, 15 feet wide, and 20 feet long. Inside contained the remains of more than a dozen people, according to officials of the city’s Department of Design and Construction.
The department will now work with the Landmarks Preservation Commission to investigate the vault and hopefully get some answers.
“As the construction workers found something that was out of the norm, they immediately implemented the protocol and so that we could start looking in more detail what was happening,” said Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora.
“When we are constructing the city, we learn so much of the past when we build for the future,” Peña-Mora said.
History always contains valuable lessons about where we have been…and where we might be headed.