For residents and tourists, New York’s Central Park is a much-loved haven from the noise of the concrete jungle. Thirty-five million people visit the park each year, but few of them know about Seneca Village, a community of African-Americans and Irish immigrants who lived there before the city created the park in 1857. This summer, New York City gave a team of archaeologists, students and historians permission to excavate parts of the park and uncover artifacts from the lives of the Seneca Village residents. Today, if you're lucky enough to be in New York, you can attend an open house at the site.
Nan Rothschild, co-director of the Seneca Village Project and director of museum studies at Columbia University, and Randy Henry, an undergraduate student at City College who assisted with the dig, talk about the history of Seneca Village.