Washington Square is also home to a clone of Philadelphia's only Moon Tree. Carried as a seed by Astronaut (and former Forest Service smoke jumper) Stuart Roosa on Apollo XIV, the Moon Tree (a sycamore) was planted in Washington Square on May 6, 1975. For more information on Moon Trees, visit the NASA Moon Tree web page. Since taking ownership of Washington Square in 2005, the National Park Service has cared for this tree. The ailing Moon Tree has now been replaced with a clone grown by Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. The planting took place on September 24, 2011.
Washington Square has many moods. It can be a delightful as well as a solemn place. Paths and trees reflect Penn's vision. The memorial to Washington and the unknowns who died during the American Revolution offer an appropriate setting for national ceremonies and commemorations. A statue of the most famous American, George Washington, stands near the Square's center. It keeps a vigil at the tomb of an unknown soldier who died during the War for Independence. Revolution linked them in life. This shrine joins them in our memory.
Did You Know?
George Washington, the nation’s first president, ran his two administrations in Philadelphia from his rented house near the corner of Sixth and Market Streets. Wife Martha, two young grandchildren and as many as 24 servants, including enslaved men and women from Mount Vernon, made up his household.