The Citywide Monuments Conservation Program will preserve the Washington Square Arch and other park monuments.
Following a restoration in 2004, the Citywide Monuments Conservation Program will preserve the iconic Washington Square Arch and other monuments situated in historic Washington Square Park. More than a popular meeting place for tourists, locals and students, the park’s monumental arch has become an international symbol of New York City. Modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, Washington Square Arch was designed by architect Stanford White between the years 1890 and 1892 as a replacement for the wooden arch, also designed by White, erected in the park in 1889 to commemorate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration in New York City. Two high-relief, larger-than-life statues of Washington were installed in 1918 on the north side of the arch, Washington as Commander-in-Chief, Accompanied by Fame and Valor by Hermon MacNeil and Washington as President, Accompanied by Wisdom and Justice by Alexander Stirling Calder.
In addition to carefully cleaning the marble arch and statuary, CMCP conservators and apprentices will assess its overall stability and repoint any areas of mortar loss. With the use of an 80-foot lift, the crew will also perform masonry repairs at the parapet level. Other Washington Square Park monuments, such as commemorative statues of Alexander Lyman Holley (1889, by John Quincy Adams Ward) and Giuseppe Garibaldi (1888, by Giovanni Turini), will also be preserved. Program staff will clean and renew the protective coatings of the bronze statuary.
Washington Square Arch is one of many monuments throughout New York that will receive professional care this summer by the Citywide Monuments Conservation Program, a public-private partnership now in its 16th season. CMCP provides graduate-level apprentices with hands-on training on the nation’s leading collection of public art. The Samuel H. Kress Foundation and Donna Karan are major program sponsors this summer.