Philadelphia, PA - Washington Square, also known as Washington Square Park, holds a significant place in the history and culture of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Originally one of the city's original squares, it is now a cherished part of Independence National Historical Park. This park has a deep-rooted past, witnessing different uses and transformations throughout the years.
In the 18th century, Washington Square served as a grazing area for animals and even served as a burial ground for the African American community. This connection to African American history adds an important layer of cultural significance to the park. Additionally, during this time, the square functioned as a potter's field, providing burial space for individuals of unknown or indigent backgrounds. Furthermore, it became a final resting place for both citizens and troops who lost their lives during the Revolutionary War.
One of the notable features of the park is the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary Soldier. This magnificent monument pays tribute to all the brave soldiers and sailors who fought in the Revolutionary War. At the heart of this monument stands a captivating statue of George Washington, encircled by the original flags of the thirteen colonies and an eternal flame. Beneath the park and its surroundings lie countless bodies, the exact number of which remains unknown. Sometimes, during construction projects, new discoveries regarding these buried remains are made, adding to the park's mystique.
Beyond its historical significance, Washington Square is also home to the country's oldest publishing house. This publishing house has stood the test of time and continues to contribute to the literary landscape of Philadelphia. Additionally, visitors can marvel at the Curtis Center, which showcases a breathtaking glass-mosaic recreation of Maxfield Parrish's The Dream Garden. This enchanting artwork provides a visually stunning experience that captivates visitors with its vibrant colors and intricate details.
To enhance the understanding of Washington Square's rich history, visitors can embark on a unique cell phone tour of the park. This tour allows visitors to explore the park at their own pace while learning about its historical significance through insightful narration and additional information.
Overall, Washington Square is not just an ordinary park; it is a living testament to Philadelphia's past. With its layered history, remarkable monuments, and cultural offerings, it continues to be a cherished destination where visitors can connect with and appreciate the significance of this historical space.