Several triumphal arches were erected in New York City for public celebrations. It’s hard to imagine that most of them were temporary, standing only for short periods of time. Perhaps it’s symbolic of New York, the agile and ever-changing metropolis, to build such grandiose structures only to be destroyed.
Three temporary arches in New York were built to celebrate George Washington’s Centennial as the first president of the United States. All were located on 5th Avenue: one – below 26th Street, another on 23rd Street, and the last one on Washington Square North. Only the latter one was rebuilt in marble form and still stands as the Washington Square Arch.
The Dewey and Victory Arches, built later, were located on 5th Ave around 24th Street. Interestingly, two of the Washington Centennial arches, the Dewey Arch, and the Victory Arch were located pretty much in the same place – the Madison Square area between 23rd and 26th Streets on 5th Avenue.
1. Washington’s Centennial Arch on Fifth Avenue at 26th Street, 1889.
2. Washington’s Centennial Arch on 5th Avenue and Washington Square North. Architect: Stanford White, 1889.
This arch proved to be very popular and was re-constructed by Stanford White in marble. It still graces Washington Square Park as the Washington Square Arch.
3. The Dewey Arch at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway at 24th Street. Architect: Charles R. Lamb, 1899.
The arch was built in 1899 for the Admiral Dewey parade in September 1899. It was destroyed in 1900.
4. The Victory Arch at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway between 24th and 25th Streets. Architect: Thomas Hastings, 1918.
The Victory Arch was built to welcome home troops returning from World War I. It was built in 1918 and destroyed in 1920.