3. Madison Square Park’s used to have Grand Arches

Dewey Arch between 1899 - 1901
The Dewey Arch between 1899-1901. Image via Library of Congress.

Many are familiar with Washington Square Park’s iconic arch, but did you know that Madison Square once had some iconic arches of its own? In 1889, for the centennial of George Washington’s first inauguration, two temporary arches were built over Fifth Avenue and 23rd and 26th Streets. In 1899, the Dewey Arch was built over Fifth Avenue and 24th Street in Madison Square for a parade honoring Admiral George Dewey and his victory in the Battle of Manila Bay. It remained until 1901.

Though there were attempts to rebuild the arch in stone, plans weren’t executed and the arch was demolished. In 1918, Mayor John F. Hylan had a “Victory Arch,” created at this same location to commemorate people from New York City who died in the war. There were failed plans to make it permanent, and some felt it was too vengeful against the Germans.