American Bald Eagle on the Washington Square Arch
In 1889, to celebrate the centennial of George Washington's inauguration as president of the United States, a large plaster and wood Memorial Arch was erected over Fifth Avenue just north of the park. The temporary plaster and wood arch was so popular that in 1892 a permanent Tuckahoe marble arch, designed by the New York architect Stanford White, was erected, standing 77 feet (23 m) and modeled after the Arc de Triomphe, built in Paris in 1806
The iconography of the Arch centers on images of war and peace. On the frieze are 13 large stars and 42 small stars interspersed with capital "W"s. The spandrels contain figures of Victory. The inscription on the attic story reads:
Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.