Union Square is an important and historic intersection and surrounding neighborhood in Manhattan, New York City, located where Broadway and the former Bowery Road – now Fourth Avenue – came together in the early 19th century; its name denotes that “here was the union of the two principal thoroughfares of the island” rather than celebrating either the Federal union of the United States or labor unions. Union Square was named a National Historic Landmark in 1997, primarily to honor it as the site of the first Labor Day parade.
It is a popular meeting place, given its central location in Manhattan and its many nearby subway routes. There are many bars and restaurants on the periphery of the square, and the surrounding streets have some of the city’s most renowned restaurants. The park has historically been the start or the end point for many political demonstrations.
The Union Square Partnership (USP), a business improvement district and a local development corporation, was formed in 1984 and became a model for other BIDs in New York City. As of 2006, it had a $1.4 million budget. The Union Square Partnership provides a free public Wi-Fi network in Union Square.