Philadelphia’s Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier, in Washington Square, is marked by a monument that was designed by architect G. Edwin Brumbaugh in mid-20th century. But when the square was redeveloped in the early 1800s another monument was proposed for the space, although it was never built.
What was the name of that proposed monument?
Answer: The “Washington Monument”
In 1682, William Penn’s surveyor Thomas Holme laid out Philadelphia’s city grid to include five planned squares, one of which was Southeast Square, now called Washington Square. For much of the 18th century, the square served as a grazing land and a potter’s field, though during the Revolutionary War it was used as a burial ground for fallen Colonial soldiers. Many victims of the Yellow Fever epidemics of the late 1700s were also interred in the square.
In the early 1800s, the land was redeveloped and was renamed Washington Square in honor of George Washington in 1825. Philadelphia architect William Strickland designed a “Washington Monument” for the square. Although the cornerstone was laid in 1833, the monument itself was never erected. In 1954, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was built on the same grounds—it features a statue of George Washington and an eternal flame.