Washington Square West
Washington Square West is a neighborhood in downtown, or Center City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The neighborhood roughly corresponds to the area between 7th and Broad Streets and between Chestnut and South Streets, bordering on the Independence Mall tourist area directly northeast, Market East to the northwest, Old City and Society Hill to the East, Bella Vista directly south, Hawthorne to the southwest, and mid-town Philadelphia and Rittenhouse Square to the west. In addition to being a desirable residential community, it is considered a hip, trendy neighborhood that offers a diverse array of shops, restaurants, and coffee houses. Washington Square West contains many gay-friendly establishments and hosts annual events celebrating LGBT culture in Philadelphia including OutFest. The area takes its name from Washington Square, a historic urban park in the northeastern corner of the neighborhood.
Philadelphia’s Antique Row lies in the area as does the nation’s oldest hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital. Educational and medical facilities associated with Thomas Jefferson University, a leading regional medical university and health care center, are located within the neighborhood. The one-time headquarters of the former Curtis Publishing Company and the University of the Arts lie at the edges of the neighborhood.
Washington Square West’s real estate is mixed commercial, residential and service industries, characterized by two, three, and four-story rowhouses interspersed with condominiums, mid-rise apartments, hospitals and offices with ground-floor retail. The neighborhood follows William Penn’s original grid layout for the city, with many one-lane and pedestrian side streets added later as the population became more dense. In addition to the block sized Washington Square Park to the East, the neighborhood contains the smaller Kahn Park, named after the Philadelphia architect Louis Kahn.