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NYC - Greenwich Village - Washington Square Park - Washington Square Arch | by wallyg
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NYC - Greenwich Village - Washington Square Park - Washington Square Arch

Washington Square Park, surrounded by New York University and a part of Greenwich Village, is typically inhabited by a variety of bohemian, intellectual, and non-traditional people. Before the Washington square was built in 1826, the area was used as a burial ground. The north side was a German cemetery, while the south side was a potter's field (a nameless burial ground). The area was later used as a public gallows and execution ground.


Inspired by Roman triumphal arches, Washington Square Arch was erected at the northern entrance of the park in 1889 to celebrate the centennial of George Washington's inaguaration. Originally designed out of wood and stucco by Stanford White of McKim, Mead and White. The original design was rebuilt in marble from 1891-92 and rededicated on May 4, 1895, standing at 77 feet (23 m) high. White’s initial, elaborate plans included a pier sculpture abutting the arch, but these designs were never completed. His spandrel panels on the north end depicting War, Peace, Fame and Posterity remained unadorned for more than twenty years. In 1916, Washington as Commander-in-Chief Accompanied by Fame and Valor by Hermon Atkins MacNeil was installed at the west plinth. Washington as President, Accompanied by Wisdom and Justice, sculpted by Alexander Stirling Calder, was installed on the east plinth two years later.


Greenwich Village Historic District National Register #79001604

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Taken on October 31, 2007