Skeletons Found Under New York’s Washington Square Park

Department of Design and Construction
Department of Design and Construction

In New York, workers with Department of Design and Construction discovered a burial vault filled with skeletons at Washington Square Park.

“We were doing our work to bring three water main connections to this neighborhood and as we were digging we found a vault,” explained DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “Then it turned out there were two vaults.”

FOX 5 New York reports:

Alyssa Loorya, the principal investigator for Chrysalis Archaeology, said contractors discovered two 15-by-18-foot crypts about three-and-a-half feet beneath the ground. The crypts are believed to date back to the late 18th Century or early 19th Century. One contained skeletal remains. The other had intact coffins stacked one on top of another. Loorya said these appear to be deliberate burials in family vaults. [SEE PHOTOS]

Thomas Foley is the associate commissioner for the Department of Design and Construction. He said the discovery wasn’t completely unexpected because the area near Washington Square Park was formerly home to two Presbyterian churches. He said the archaeologists are part of the engineering team.

“The city’s policy is to leave all burials intact and in place. So we’re not going to go into the vault,” stated Loorya. She added, “These people were buried and we respect that and we will just do as much documentation as possible from the ground and from the small view that we have.”