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NYU's Washington Square Arch

NYU's Washington Square Arch

The center of student life at NYU and somewhere to go that’s always full of life and culture. 

Jan 17, 2024

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 The History 


Standing at 73.5 feet tall and designed in 1891, the Washington Square Arch serves as a commemorative piece of architecture but also as a centerpiece for life in NYC. 


It was built to commemorate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration in 1789 and its inscription reads: 


“Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.” — George Washington


In later years, two statues were erected around the arch depicting George Washington and are referred to as “Washington at War” and “Washington at Peace”.


The arch is found in the park of the same name and is full of life and buzz almost 24/7; from street musicians to just students laying on the grass nearby.  You can even happen upon people jumping in the park’s fountain!


Washington Square Park is also the site of many events year-round. Including music festivals in the summer, Halloween celebrations in the Fall and so much more!



Lore and Tradition 

Often viewed as an unofficial symbol of NYU, the Washington Square Arch is the center of NYU’s only tradition. NYU grads and students pride themselves on their widespread campus and fast-paced lifestyle. That makes this superstition a much debated and often disregarded topic. 


It is said that if you walk under the Arch before graduation, you will not graduate in 4 years.  Whether you believe it or not, the Washington Square Arch and Park are the perfect place to take pictures, study or meet up with friends on a night out<3


Shop the NYU Collection + The Washington Square Arch