Washington Square Park
Btwn. Walnut and Locust Sts. and 6th and 7th Sts.
A quieter counterpart to Rittenhouse Square, Washington Square serves a similar purpose for the Old City, Society Hill, and Washington Square West neighborhoods it borders. People stop to eat, read, or take a break from it all in the leafy respite.
Originally called Southeast Square in 1682, it was renamed as a tribute to George Washington in 1825. Used as a burial ground for troops during the Revolutionary War and for victims of the yellow fever epidemics that followed, it wasn’t until the surrounding neighborhoods developed that the square transformed into its current shape.
In 1952, a major renovation included the creation of a monument to the soldiers and sailors of the Revolutionary War. Designed by architect G. Edwin Brumbaugh, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier occupies an area near the center, memorializing the bodies buried below with a constant flame burning at the site.
© Karrie Gavin from Moon Philadelphia, 1st Edition