A leafy retreat with tree-shaded benches, located steps from Independence Hall
In contrast to today’s beautiful park setting, Washington Square during its early years was claimed as a burial ground and pasture.
By 1815, however, the installation of a public walk and tree-planting program initiated what would become the modern-day scenic square — renamed Washington Square in 1825 — with over 60 species of trees. Philadelphia founder William Penn designated the space among five city squares set aside for establishing parks for the public.
Washington Square later became the site of the country’s oldest publishing house and many well-respected members of the publishing industry, including The Farm Journal — the oldest farm publication in the U.S. — and the W.B. Saunders Publishing Company.
The park shelters the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in memory of soldiers who fought in the American Revolution, and a clone of tree that sprouted from a seed that went to the moon — and back.
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In the neighborhood
Museums & Attractions
101 Columbus Boulevard
The Great Plaza at Penn's Landing
Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Powel House
- The Philadelphia History Museum at the Atwater Kent
- Old Man, Young Man, the Future
- The Bishop White House
- Center for Advanced Judaic Studies
- Polish American Cultural Center
- Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church
- Theater of the Living Arts (TLA)
- Physick House
- View more attractions
Restaurants & Dining