Madison Sq. Garden, Boston Garden, Maple Leaf Garden...

…So, why are they called “Gardens”? I know the same person that built M.S.G. also built Boston Garden. Was that his name? Or is Garden a 19th century term for Arena?

Suggest this as a possibility: In the nineteenth century seaside resorts in Britain started providing large indoor areas for people to walk in, set out like greenhouses or conservatories so that people could enjoy being out and about in poor weather. Then extra rooms were added and they became entertainment complexes with meeting rooms and auditoriums.

I addressed a conference last year in the Blackpool Winter Gardens- not Garden like at all.

I moved to NYC about 6 years ago. One of the things that bothered me about the place was Madison Square Garden.

My beefs…

It’s not on Madison Ave.
It’s round.

There are no gardens.
Latter I became friends with a man who worked there. So I asked him what the deal was with the name.

The original Madison Square Garden was on Madison Ave. It had a square and it had a ‘Garden’ restaurant inside. The place had real Palm trees and other tropical stuff which for 100+ years ago would be really ritzy.

MSG had moved around town quite a bit and I think there have been 5 or 6 MSG’s in all.

The other places are probably like that as well.

Boston Garden was designed to be “Boston’s Madison Square Garden”, but the middle words were dropped and it just became “Boston Garden”. That’s what the Fleet Center’s website says.

I would assume that Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens (note that it’s plural) was probably named using a similar scheme.

Re: Madison Square Garden not being square:

I think the “square” is a noun here, not an adjective. As in, “The Garden at Madison Square.” (Though it’s a few blocks away from Madison Square.)

Similarly, the Washington Square Arch is rectangular on the outside and round underneath, but not square. But you’ll find it at Washington Square.

side note: For some strange reason, I seem to recall that “Gotham City” on the old Batman TV series had a “Madison Round Garden.” Or maybe it was named for some other president.

For some time now, I’ve been wondering if there was anything in this modern age that was as thoroughly misnamed as the Holy Roman Empire[sup]1[/sup]. The Moral Majority was a good attempt, but it had only two words that didn’t apply. I was looking for one with three. It looks like Zebra has found it. Congratulations

Now, can anyone find one with four?
[sup]1[/sup] Some of you will remember that Voltaire pointed out that it was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.

Current US Army field rations are called MRE’s for “Meal Ready to Eat” - that’s 3 lies in 1 name, not counting the “to”.

The Arch is not square but the piece of land that makes up the park is square. (roughly)

I’m having to do this from memory, but the Encyclopedia of New York notes that the original Madison Square Garden was located on…Madison Square (surprise) at 26th Street, and designed by Stanford White (of McKim, Mead &…). It moved three times before arriving in 1968 at its current, ignomimous location, on the bones of the dear, demolished Pennsylvania Station, “the most beautiful room in the world”. (An underground horror bearing the Penn Station name lies beneath MSG.) The current arrangement, with the round MSG placed in front of an office slab that consumes the rest of the site, looks exactly like a toilet and tank.

The interim locations were actually even farther from Madison Square than it is today. MSG III, for example, was up at 50th Street and 8th Avenue.

There are now plans to create an MSG V on top of the railroad yards just west of the current location. Considering the enormous subsidies already spent on MSG IV, and community resistance to further cash outlays, I’m not holding my breath.