World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Foley Square


Foley Square

Triumph of the Human Spirit at Foley Square in 2008

Foley Square is a street intersection and green space in the Civic Center neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, New York City and – by extension – the surrounding area, which is dominated by civic buildings. The space is bordered by Worth Street, Centre Street and Lafayette Street and lies between City Hall and Canal Street, near Manhattan's Chinatown and east of TriBeCa. It was named after a prominent Tammany Hall district leader and local saloon owner, Thomas F. "Big Tom" Foley (1852–1925).[1]


  • History and description 1
  • In popular culture 2
  • Gallery 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

History and description

Foley Square sits on the site of Collect Pond, which was one of the original fresh water sources for the city, but in 1811 was drained and filled in because it had become severely polluted and implicated in typhus and cholera outbreaks. The neighborhood around the pond was the notorious Five Points neighborhood, home of many gangs.

The square is the site of a number of civic buildings including the classic facades and colonnaded entrances of the 1933-built United States Courthouse, fronted by the sculpture Triumph of the Human Spirit by the noted artist Lorenzo Pace; the New York County Courthouse; the Church of St. Andrew; the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse – known before 2003 as the Foley Square Courthouse – where the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit is based; the New York County Municipal Building; the Foley Square Federal Building and the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building and Court of International Trade.[2]

Also featured in the square are five bronze historical medallions, set flush into areas of the surrounding sidewalks, telling the history of the park and its surroundings, including one for the "Negro Burial Ground", an 18th-century African-American burial ground unearthed during construction of the square.[3] This burial ground has been preserved as the African Burial Ground National Monument. In 2005, Tom Paine Park was established as a part of the square.[4]

Foley Square has been used several times for special purposes. It was used as a triage center on September 11, 2001. The Foley Square Greenmarket operates year round at the corner of Centre Street between Worth and Pearl Streets, and offers baked goods as well as local farm picked fruits and vegetables which are guaranteed to have been harvested within three days of sale. Because of its proximity to Chinatown, Foley Square is often host to a large group of people performing tai chi in the mornings.

On November 17, 2011, Foley Square was the site of a protest which was part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which took place after the protestors had been removed from nearby Zuccotti Park. Thousands of people attended the rally, including members of a dozen different unions.[5]

In popular culture



  • Foley Square was the name of a television series starring Margaret Colin, which aired on the American television broadcast network CBS from December 1985 to April 1986.
  • Foley Square is often seen on the television series Law & Order and its spinoffs.


See also


  1. ^ Moscow, Henry. The Street Book: An Encyclopedia of Manhattan's Street Names and Their Origins. New York: Hagstrom, 1978. ISBN 0823212750, pp.50-51
  2. ^  , p.421.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Tom Paine Park" at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation website
  5. ^ Buckley, Carla. "200 Are Arrested As Protesters Clash With the Police". The New York Times (November 17, 2011)

External links

  • Photographs of Foley Square buildings and surroundings.
  • NYC Parks - Foley Square
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.