3. Washington Square Park Arch
Designed by Stanford White, the Washington Square Park arch was first built out of wood to commemorate the 100th anniversary of George Washington’s inauguration. The prominent citizens loved the Arc de Triomphe inspired arch and paid for White to design it out of marble. Alexander Stirling Calder made the statue of Washington and Fredrick MacMonnies carved the relief work.
In 1916, painter John Sloan, dadaist Marcel Duchamp and three of their friends broke into the interior staircase of the arch. They climbed to the top, cooked food, lit Japanese lanterns, fired cap pistols, launched balloons and declared it the independent republic of New Bohemia. The citizens were outraged and the interior door of the arch was sealed. Some of the lucky have been able to tour the inside. Today the arch is partially encased by netting to protect it from the corrosiveness of guano droppings (aka pigeon poop). The Untapped Team got to climb to the top of the arch with NYC Parks Comissioner Mitchell Silver! Check out photos from our climb here.