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.
A permanent monument maintenance endowment has been established by Bertolli USA, Inc. Additional funds for new landscaping designed by Lynden Miller have been donated by Harry B. Fleetwood, and the Verdi Square landscape has been endowed in memory of James H. Fleetwood, a musician.