Washington Park is on the northern corner of the James Street Commons Historic District and is on the northern corner of Newark’s central business district. Washington Park, along with Newark’s other two major parks – Lincoln Park and Military Park – date back to the colonial era when Newark was already growing into a major urban center. Since that time, historic buildings have gone up to surround the park, including the beautiful John Ballantine House, which is now part of Newark Museum.
Within the park are several statues and tablets. As you stroll through, expect to find a famous statue of Christopher Columbus, built in 1927 by Roman Giuseppe Ciochetti and presented to the city by Newark’s Italian-American population (and yes, this is the same statue featured in an episode of the Sopranos).
Gutzon Borglum, who sculpted Mt. Rushmore, created the Indian and the Puritan in 1916, one of 4 public works to be found in Newark by Borglum.
The park’s namesake is of course to be found – you can find a statue of Washington taking leave from his troops, a majestic public work done in bronze featuring GW and his horse.
Another site is of Seth Boyden, a famous Newark citizen most noted for innovating train locomotives and inventing patent leather; his statue is the first to honor an engineer in America. The citizens responsible for raising his statue purposely placed it in Washington Park, as the Park is close to his original workshop in Newark.
Newark is an old city, full of history and culture; Washington Park provides a great sample of what Newark has to offer.