This park takes its name from the striking equestrian sculpture of George Washington (1732 1799) -- Commander in Chief and first President of the United States (1789 1797) -- which serves as its centerpiece.
The plaza, bounded by Roebling, South Fourth, and South Fifth Streets, was first built by the Department of Public Works (also known as Plant and Structures), in conjunction with the construction of the Williamsburg Bridge, which opened in 1903. The opening of the bridge transformed the surrounding community from an upper class resort to a district comprised of working class immigrants. Federal Works Progress Administration funds were applied toward the renovation of the plaza in 1936 in order to improve access to the monument, repair the balustrade, and install streetlighting. Also around this time a pavilion was removed from the site. In 1938 the plaza and monument were transferred to the custody of the Department of Parks.