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Session:         Page of 617

LBH
Interview # 9
Interviewee: Congressman Edward I. Koch
Interviewer: Ed Edwin
New York City
December 31, 1975

Q:

I thought to wrap up the parks discussion that we were having yesterday, you talked about Washington Square Park as it became and the people from the outside. What was Washington Square Park through your eyes when you first moved to the Village or even when you first visited the Village?

Koch:

Well, you know, I went to New York University law school, and so I know Washington Square Park quite well. I went to the law school from '46 to '48. It was a lovely park. In a way it was both a local park, a community park, filled with women and children and the elderly, particularly the elderly Italian families. It was really nice. It's become a terrible place.

And on Sundays (and here my recollection doesn't go back to NYU days; I don't really know whether they had folk singing then), but when I moved to the Village in '56 and thereafter, there were folk singers in the park -- it was lovely -- just on Sundays. It was very well-regulated. You couldn't start the folk singing until I think either one or two o'clock in the afternoon. I mean you look back on that now: that's all crazy. That's like out of a small town era. And it's nice to think about,



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