Verdi Square was acquired by Parks in 1887 and was named in 1921. The area was formerly a part of the old village of Harsenville located on Bloomingdale Road (now Broadway). It was a popular choice for summer villas in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. In the early 1900s the square served as a gathering place for musicians, including Enrico Caruso and Arturo Toscanini.
In 1974, Verdi Square was designated a Scenic Landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, one of only nine public parks to receive this distinction. The monument was restored in 1997 with funds from the Broadway/72nd Associates.