Public Square History

From Jefferson County NY Wiki
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Public Square has had a long and varied history. From the humble homesteads of Watertown's founding fathers to a burgeoning center of commerce, to the city's social, commercial and cultural center. Reinvention has always been a hallmark of Public Square: its reinvigoration after devastating fires in 1848 and 1849, to the architectural edifices built to reflect the enormous industrial wealth of the city in the late 19th century and adaptation to modern life and technology in the early and mid 20th century. Declining wealth and prosperity in Watertown also saw the decline of Public Square's importance in the late 20th century.


Public Square in the 21st century finds itself in a state of transition, once again struggling to reinvent itself. Maintaining its history and economic viability, while coming to terms with the needs of modern day life, like so many downtowns across the United States. Time will tell if that adaptability that served Public Square so well in the past, will serve it well in the future.


(For a listing of significant dates and events, see Public Square Timeline)

Chapters[edit | edit source]

Beginnings: 1800-1850

Rebuilding: 1850-1900

Prosperity: 1900-1950

Decline: 1950-2000

New Beginnings: The 2000’s


See Also[edit | edit source]

Historic Structures in Watertown


References and External Links[edit | edit source]

Birth of NNY Cities

City of Watertown Official Site

Hamilton's Child's Gazeteer

History of Jefferson County]

WWNY: City Codes Officer Concerned About Safety At Paddock Arcade

WWNY: Watertown Fountain Destroyed

WWNY: Beginning Of The End For Watertown's Iron Block

WWTI: Woolworth Building To Close October 1s