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 lively Union Square neighborhood is anchored by its namesake pedestrian plaza and bustling park, which attracts a mix of professionals, street artists, students, and protesters. The surrounding streets are lined with high-rise apartments and big-name chain stores, as well as casual eateries and cafes. The stalls of the long-running Union Square Greenmarket draw crowds for local produce and artisanal food.