Philadelphia, PA - Washington Square is one of the five public squares planned by William Penn in Philadelphia. It was named after the nation's first president, George Washington. Restaurants, stores, and nightlife venues surround the area. Several hotels are also located within the area.
Washington Square in Philadelphia
As a result, the area became popular with residents and tourists. Many people find it more peaceful and relaxing than other squares.
Before the Revolutionary War, the area was a pasture field. Later, it served as a place for cattle markets and camp meetings. It was also used as a burial site. During the British occupation of Philadelphia, prisoners of war were held here.
After the Revolutionary War, Washington Square was renamed in honor of the nation's first president. This change came about when the Select and Common Councils in Philadelphia proposed renaming city squares in honor of celebrated Americans.
The square also served as a burial ground for free and enslaved Africans. They were buried along with suicide victims.
During the Yellow Fever epidemic in 1793, the area became crowded with the bodies of dead people. In the meantime, the long mass grave trenches were dug on the south side of the square.
In 1815, the Select and Common Councils of Philadelphia formed a committee to oversee the improvements to the square. At that time, they wanted the square to focus on the Revolutionary War. As part of the change, diagonal walkways were built to improve pedestrian traffic flow.