Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Trees

Washington Square

A black and white map of Washington Square. The map image has text surrounding it, naming the types of flowers and trees found in each section of the map. The map itself primarily shows the circular trails in the square and has small images of shrubs to represent plant locations.

This 1842 map of Washington Square details the variety of trees then found in each section of the park. (Historical Society of Pennsylvania)

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

The southeast public square of Philadelphia was an area for animal grazing, public markets, trash dumps, and potter’s fields for more than a century, until the City of Philadelphia rejuvenated the park and renamed it Washington Square in 1825. This 1842 map shows the design of the walkways and details the specific trees that made up the new landscaping of Washington Square. The diversity of plants and trees helped Washington Square act as an arboretum to educate the public about horticulture. By the time this map was published, more than fifty varieties of trees were placed around the square. (For a larger image of this map, visit the Historical Society of Pennsylvania)

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