There was one prior attempt to redesign the park, this is from the website, " http://www.pps.org/great_public_spaces/one?public_place_id=7: "In 1964, plans to redesign the park surfaced with much controversy between the "traditionalist" residents and the "modernist" Park Commissioner. Esteemed West Village residents, such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Jane Jacobs, believed that the Park Commissioner's plans for renovation would violate the park's natural character, and that the park needed simple renovations in keeping with its unique and quaint style. Most importantly, Jacobs and the other dissidents felt that the park had to be closed off to automobile traffic to preserve it as a respite from urban life, and create an unbroken promenade surrounding it. Eventually the Parks Commissioner agreed to the residents’ wishes."
We invite comments on this topic, as the idea invites controversy. Also check out: www.preservewashingtonsquarepark.com for more information.