This magnificent arch was once just plaster and wood, erected in 1889 to celebrate the centennial of President George Washington's inauguration. The people who came up with this idea obviously did something right, as it became very popular and only three years later was replaced with a permanent marble arch designed by New York architect Stanford White.
Standing at 77 feet tall, this beautiful arch is focused around Washington's ideas of war and peace. It's hollow and contains a stairway up to the roof. Rumor has it that at one point a civil war veteran was living inside the arch! No one knew until one day someone spotted his laundry hanging up to dry!
The park is now a very popular spot now. Many people from all over nyc come to hang out in this park, along with many nyu students because it's practically on their campus.
One other cool thing about the park is a certain row of houses just outside of the park. They are actually known as "the row," and New York's elite moved here in 1820. Now, most of it is owned by New York University, but Artist Edward Hopper lived here for quite some time with his wife in #3 Washington Square North until he died in 1967. He lived there for about 54 years. Also, in the famous 2007 film, I Am Legend, Will Smith's character had the address , 11 Washington Square North. How cool!