Washington Square Arch
North side of Washington Square Park at Fifth Avenue

Inspired by Roman triumphal arches, this structure was erected in 1889 to celebrate the centennial of George Washington's inauguration. It replaced an arch on near the site which was a temporary structure made of wood and stucco. Having met with popular approval, Mckim Mead & White's original design was rebuilt in marble in 1891. Decorated with sculptures of Washington in both his civilian and military guises by Alexander Stirling Calder and Herman MacNeil, this arch became the symbol of a new America devoted to the arts. In the first decades of the 20th century, the West Village became an increasingly bohemian neighborhood, and the arch became a site of artistic and social rebellion. Cars no longer pass under the arch as they once did; the Arch remains one of the Village's important urban landmarks.