Located in the famous Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, Washington Square Park has an interesting history. It was the site of a Native American village until it was taken by force by the Dutch; they in turn gave the land to freed slaves, earning it the nickname “Land of the blacks.” These former slaves owned the land from 1643-1664.
Fast forward to 1797, when the area – still farmland – was purchased for use as a burial ground. The cemetery once housed there was closed in 1825, but even today there are 20,000 bodies that call the Square home (creepy!).
Fast forward again, to 1889, and that’s when the arch shown in the slide was constructed to commemorate the centennial of George Washington’s election to the presidency. The original plaster and wood arch became so popular that a longer-lasting marble one was put in its place in 1892.
You can read more about Washington Square at your local library! Or you can save yourself the hassle and go to Wikipedia instead.