The Tour Gargoyles bring to mind mysterious medieval castles but these stone creatures are here in Manhattan looking down on us every day. This tour will take us on over 12 stops through the Union Sq. Historic District as we explore its architecture and history. We will see 11 buildings with gargoyles plus a building with robust caryatids along with some New York City and national landmark buildings and much more, Besides the gargoyles I talk about the neighborhood’s history and give information about each building’s architectural style, the architect and landmark status. Photograph of the distant gargoyles are part of the tour. The History The Union Square historic district was originally developed in the 1830s by Samuel Ruggles as a residential square. Ruggles also created Stuyvesant Square., Madison Square. & Gramercy Square. They were collectively known as “Manhattan’s Four Squares”. Each had a park in the center & were surrounded by homes of well to do New Yorkers. Only Gramercy Park had the park in the center deeded to the surrounding landowners making it a private park. In the case of the other three residential developments the land to be used as a park was deeded to the city with the provision the city would create & maintain the park. This is probably the reason that over the years Gramercy Park has continually survived the best as an exclusive residential neighborhood. The Guide The tour is given by Alfred Pommer, a native New Yorker, a licensed New York City guide and author of four Manhattan guide books published by the History Press and Arcadia Publishing.