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Washington Park (Newark) facts for kids

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Washington Park is a city square in Downtown Newark, New Jersey. It is the northernmost of the three downtown parks, along with Lincoln Park and Military Park, that were laid out in the colonial era. The triangular park is bounded by Broad Street, Washington Street, and Washington Place at the end of Halsey Street. It is home to several public statues and is surrounded by historic civic and commercial buildings.

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Skyline of Washington Park buildings such as IDT, North Reformed Church, 33 Washington St, American Insurance Company Building, Cablevision, 1 Washington Park, and Riverfront Stadium as seen from Passaic River in 2015

District

James Street Commons Historic District
U.S. Historic district
Contributing property
NRHP reference No. 78001758
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP January 9, 1978

Originally known as the North Common or the Upper Green, the park is a contributing property to the James Street Commons Historic District and is surrounded by notable landmarks. It forms the northern end of the city's central business district.

The North Reformed Church was built in 1857-59 without the use of ore, iron, or steel. The Ballantine House, a National Historic Landmark, was built by the brewer of Ballantine beer, John Ballantine, in 1885. It is part of the Newark Museum. The main Newark Public Library was built in 1903. Residential brownstones are found along James Street.

Among the office buildings located in the district are the American Insurance Company Building, One Washington Park, IDT Corporation, 550 Broad Street, 33 Washington Street, and the Cablevision Call Center. Several facilities of Rutgers-Newark and the headquarters of Audible are on the park.

Statues

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George Washington taking leave of troops at Rocky Hill.
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Columbus statue removed in June 2020

Several statues and tablets are in the park.

  • Indian and the Puritan (1916), is one of four public works by Mount Rushmore sculptor Gutzon Borglum in Newark, which also include Seated Lincoln (1911), Wars of America (1926), and a stele with bas-relief, First Landing Party of the Founders of Newark (1916).
  • A J. Massey Rhind work of the park's namesake, George Washington, depicts the general taking leave from his troops at Rockingham.
  • A statue of Christopher Columbus, which was made in Rome by Giuseppe Ciochetti and presented to the city by Newark's Italians in 1927. was removed (with pedestal left in place) in June 2020.
  • A work by Karl Gerhardt of Seth Boyden, who was one of Newark's leading citizens, captain of industry in the 19th century, an inventor of patent leather and innovation for train locomotives.

Wednesdays at Washington Park

Since 2009 a weekly green market and outdoor concert is held at the park from June to October.

Transportation

The Newark Light Rail Washington Park station lies along the Broad Street side of the park. Riverfront Stadium station is a block away. The Newark Broad Street Station, served by New Jersey Transit (NJT), is two blocks north. Numerous buses serve Newark and environs, including Newark Liberty International Airport.

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