A second burial vault has been found under Washington Square Park after workers upgrading water pipes on Tuesday discovered a 19th century burial vault containing skeletal remains.
Department of Design and Construction officials said the first vault, measuring 8 feet by 20 feet, contained the remains of about a dozen people, ABC 7 reported, adding that as archaeologists, anthropologists and the Landmarks Preservation Commission gather more information at the site near Waverly Place, vehicles and pedestrians will be restricted, and the impacted area will be blocked off until further information is developed.
While archaeologists and anthropologists were at the site on Thursday, they uncovered a second, 15 foot by 18 foot long vault, according to ABC 7, which contains coffins with name plates and dates on them. They were also described as "well-preserved," and appear to be burial grounds of one or two defunct churches.
The human remains are speculated to have been buried for more than 100 years, CBS reported on the discovery of the first vault, also stating that Washington Square Park was used as a public burial place after the Revolutionary War.
“It would be interesting to figure out who they are. … It doesn’t creep me out as much as it just intrigues me,” Julia Gouny of Greenwich Village said to CBS.
“If it were more recent, it might be creepy — if it were from, like, the 1980s,” Gouny added in the CBS report.
Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Dr. Feniosky Pena-Mora stated that the construction alignment for the new water main under the park will likely have to be redesigned, the CBS article claimed before adding that this was not the first time human remains were discovered beneath Washington Square Park — it also happened in 2008 during a soil testing project by city crews.
In addition to a burial ground, the Daily Mail stated in a related report, legend has it that the area was also the site of public executions.