Washington Square West is a charming and historical neighborhood that was developed back in the earliest parts of Philadelphia’s founding.
Washington Square West falls between 6th Street to the east and Broad Street to the west, and north to Chestnut Street and south to South Street.
While this neighborhood is one of Philadelphia’s most sought after residential areas, Washington Square West went through years of urban renewal to become the popular neighborhood it is today.
History began back in 1682 at Washington Square, then known as Southeast Square, a historic urban park in the northeastern corner of the neighborhood. Washington Square was one of five original squares created by William Penn in the late 17th century. This square was used as a burial ground for Revolutionary War soldiers and yellow fever victims, as well as a potter’s field and pasture for animals. A Revolutionary War prison was also fixed on the northwest corner of the square. Today, Washington Square is now a beloved park where people come to read, relax, and walk around the tree-lined walkways. The square is also a part of the Independence National Historical Park.
The area is famously known for the Curtis Center, a prominent publishing company that began in the late 19th century. Washington West is also home to Jefferson Hospital, Wills Eye Institute, Pennsylvania Hospital (oldest hospital in the U.S), Jewelers Row, and the Walnut Street Theater, America’s oldest theater company.
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(all data current as of 5/28/2020)
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Schools in the Washington Square Area:
- General George A. McCall Elementary
- Benjamin Franklin High School