Washington Square Arch

Washington Square Arch, New York City, public art

Public Art : Washington Square Arch

Also Known As : Washington Arch

Architect: © Stanford White

Sculptors: © Alexander Stirling Calder and Hermon A. MacNeil

Description: The Washington Square Arch is a 77ft (23m) high white Tuckahoe marble Triumphal Arch.  On the eastern pier is a statue of George Washington as Commander-in-Chief by Hermon A. MacNeil and on the western pier George Washington as President by Alexander Stirling Calder. They are commonly referred to as Washington at War and Washington at Peace and were added to the arch in 1918.

The Washington at War, which is flanked by "Fame and "Valor", depicts Washington in full uniform clutching a sword in both hands and at his feet is a single cannon ball.

The Washington at Peace statue, which is flanked by "Justice" and "Wisdom", depicts Washington in a more casual stance and has above him a book bearing the Latin phrase Exitus Acta Probat (“The end justifies the deed”). The frieze consists of 13 large stars and 42 small stars.

Date Unveiled: The Washignton Arch was completed in 1892 and dedicated in 1895. The two Washignton statues were added in 1918.

Location: The Washington Arch can be found in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, Manhattan in New York City, New York.

Washington Arch Trivia: During excavation of the site human remains, a coffin, and a gravestone dated 1803 were uncovered.

The site was used as the Washington Military Parade Ground in 1826 and the following year became a public park.

In 1835, the Washington Square Park hosted the first public demonstration of the telegraph by Samuel Morse, a professor at New York University, which is adjacent to the park.

The Washington Arch replaced a popular wooden arch that had been erected in 1889 to commemorate the centennial of Washington’s inauguration.

The Washington Arch was inspired by the Arc de Triomphe, in Paris which was modeled on the Arch of Titus in Rome.

The arch has been subject to numerous graffiti vandalism.


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