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While most people are familiar with Madison Square Garden, Madison Square Park is located northeast of the sports arena. It sits at the crossroads of Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and 23rd Street in Manhattan. The park sits on 6.2 acres of land known to locals as “NoMad.” It is located on the northern end of the Flatiron District – named after the Flatiron building, one of New York’s first and oldest standing skyscrapers.

The park, and later the garden, received its name from William “Corporal” Thompson in 1839, who created a roadhouse for travelers coming into and out of the city going North. He named it “Madison Cottage” after James Madison, the former president. The cottage has long been gone but the name remains.

Madison Square Park opened to the public in 1847 and was witness to the development of New York from the early Brownstones to skyscrapers. Visitors to this site can see a variety of statues commemorating various individuals significant to US history, including an obelisk resting over the tomb of General William Jenkins Worth, a seated bronze portrait of Secretary of State William H. Seward, and statues of Roscoe Conkling, Admiral David Farragut, and Chester Alan Arthur.

For major-league baseball fans, this was the home for one of the first US professional baseball teams – the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club – which began by meeting and practicing in a vacant lot there. There are modern art installations at the site that change yearly. The Park is within easy view of the Flatiron Building and the Empire State Building. A local favorite eatery called The Shake Shack is within walking distance.

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