, originally designated in 1682
as Southeast Square, is an open-space park in Center City Philadelphia
's Southeast quadrant and one of the five original planned squares
laid out on the city grid by William Penn
's surveyor, Thomas Holme
. It is part of both the Washington Square West
and Society Hill
During the 18th century, the Square was used to graze animals and for burials by city's African American
community and as a potter's field
, much like the park of the same name in New York's Greenwich Village. During the Revolutionary War, the square was used as a burial ground for citizens and troops from the Colonial army.
After the Revolution, victims of the city's yellow fever epidemics
were interred here, and the square was used for cattle markets and camp meetings. Improvement efforts began in 1815
, as the neighborhoods around the square were developed and became fashionable. In 1825
, the park was named Washington Square in tribute to George Washington
and a monument to Washington was proposed. This monument was never built but served as the seed for the eventual tribute to soldiers of the Revolutionary War. The Curtis Building
sits to the north of the park, a remnant of Philadelphia's publishing industry.
Washington Square was the site of the first human flight in the Americas in 1793 when Jean Pierre Blanchard
ascended in his hot-air balloon from the Walnut Street Jail.
Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War......