Art and Controversy in Philadelphia
Washington Monument Fountain
Continue straight, then walk around the fountain ahead.
To your left is Philadelphia’s Washington Monument Fountain.
After the Revolutionary War, a society was founded by the men who fought in the war, called The Society of Cincinnati. George Washington, The United States’ first president, was also the president of The Society.
In 1810, years after Washington’s death, the Society set out to commemorate those who fought in the war with a grand monument.
Unfortunately, fundraising was slow. There were disagreements concerning the monument’s location, and whether the bronze and granite sculpture should be gilded.
The monument was finally unveiled in 1897.
With a desire to make Washington’s likeness as realistic as possible, a cast of Washington’s face was used, that was taken while he was still alive.
The bottom level of the monument features statues of Native Americans as well as of animals that can be found in the United States.
Though Washington is meant to be the monument’s star, you’ll likely see most visitors striking their cleverest poses next to one of the monument’s animals.
Continue around the fountain.