February 19, 2017

Presidents Day: Philadelphia's Washington Monument

In Philly, The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a recognizable building. 
Some know it as the place where Rocky Balboa famously ran up the steps. 
Many of us use it as a landmark to get our bearings around the city. 

Some may recall that directly in front of the Art Museum is a huge fountain;
what most don’t know is that the name of that fountain is the Washington Monument.
“She must be mistaken,” you’re thinking, “That’s the obelisk in Washington, D.C.”
You’d be correct, but in fact, Philadelphia, along with D.C., 
can boast of its own monument to honor our nation’s first president.

Designed by Rudolf Siemering, the majestic fountain was dedicated in 1897. 
The bronze and granite sculpture features General Washington astride his horse. 
An impression of Washington’s face was made and used to replicate his likeness.

The 44' high, 3-tiered monument depicts the man, his times, & his country.
The middle section represents Washington's place in US history:
the period leading up to the Revolutionary War, the victory, and the aftermath.
Two females allegorically represent America.
One is the rallying cry of battle, and the other, 
Liberty as she crushes the chains of oppression from Britain.

Additional sculpted plaques and emblems also depict the time period.

The base of the monument represents Washington's country.
There are four fountains, including statues of Native Americans, representing 
great rivers of the colonial US: the Delaware, Hudson, Potomac, and Mississippi.
(I was disappointed that the fountains were not filled and working at the time.)

Impressive, detailed sculptures of animals native to the US 
are on the sides of each fountain: buffalo, elk, moose, a bear and a bull.

I encourage you to stop by the Washington Monument and see it for yourself.
As is often the case, photos don't do it justice.
A great monument to a great man and US president,
located in the City of Brotherly Love.

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