Artist: Rudolf Siemering
Location: West end of Eakins Oval
The Washington Monument, located at the west end of Eakins Oval, is a permanent memorial to our nation's first President, George Washington. It was dedicated on May 5, 1897 at a ceremony presided over by President William McKinley at the Green Street entrance to Fairmount Park. The monument was developed via a generous donation from the State Society of the Cincinnati of Pennsylvania. The Society was founded in 1783 by officers who fought in the American Revolution and who worked to not only recognize the sacrifices of their colleagues but to also assist them or their families. The Society is named for a Fifth Century B.C. Roman farmer who, like Washington, lead troops into battle and emerged victorious. President Washington was actually elected the first 'President General' of the Society in 1783.
In 1881, Professor Rudolf Siemering of Berlin, Germany was commissioned by the Society to create the monument. He had a distinguished career and widespread reputation for his sculptures and much of his work encompassed a baroque style. His vision for the monument was to create a testimonial to Washington. Siemering used paintings and other representations of George Washington to create an accurate portrayal of his visage and clothing for the time period. The monument itself has three hierarchies. The main focal point of the statue is Washington himself, whom we see sitting on his horse looking over his left shoulder. Just below that, we see a number of representations of the Revolutionary war and the Colonial era. At the base of the monument we see the various figures of the indigenous peoples and wildlife of the area.