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Marshall Square Park: The Park That Started It All

Marshall Square Park was modeled after Philadelphia’s Washington Square Park.


West Chester’s first park was also its first town square. A place for people to get together and take a break from their errands and busy lives – it keeps very much that same vibe today.  Located just blocks off of Gay Street, tree-dotted Marshall Square Park is the perfect gathering or just bumping into place.

Marked by meandering brick pathways crisscrossing a one-square block on West Chester’s northeast side, Marshall Square Park features some of the borough’s oldest and newest examples of public artwork. (The former a 1899 fountain recently restored and returned to the park and the latter a beautifully carved tree trunk, the borough’s most recent installment of a public art.)   

Soldiers’ Monument honoring the 97th Regiment of the Civil War. The monument was erected in 1887.


Dedicated in 1848, West Chester’s first park was named for local botanist, Humphry Marshall. Marshall Square Park originally served as a way to show off the town’s arboricultural chops with a collection of fine tree specimens and rare plants. Over the years some of these trees have been lost but a few still remain.

To help find the remaining original trees, the Friends of Marshall Square Park has created a map.

Key features:

Playground with swings, covered gazebo, fountain, basketball court, a Civil War monument, and a chainsaw sculpture of a gnome in his home.


Each summer the park hosts “Music at Marshall,” a popular outdoor concert series.

Summer: Each month during the summer Marshall Square Park hosts music in the park complete with a community potluck. Follow Friends of Marshall Square Park on Facebook for details.  

Winter: In December the park is lighted by luminaria just in time for an Old Fashioned Christmas.


Marshall Square Park occupies a full square block between Biddle and Marshall Streets to the east and Franklin and Matlack streets to the north. 

Keep in touch:

Have an idea for Marshall Square or any of the West Chester parks? Check out how this post on how to get involved.

Not the right park for you? Explore another.

Plus, West Chester has a new walking tour and five local runs you have to try at least once.

Want to be the first to know? Follow us. We’d love to have you come along.

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