Washington Park is Albany, NY's premier park and the site of many festivals and gatherings. As public property it dates back to the city charter in 1686, and has seen many uses including that of gunpowder storage, square/parade grounds, and cemetery (in 1868 the remains and headstones in the cemetery were removed and reinterred).
The park is about 81 acres in size with the 5.2-acre Washington Park Lake, a roughly 1,600-foot long and 140-foot wide lake, in the southwestern corner. Due to the historical and architectural significance of the park and neighborhood both were included in 1972 as the Washington Park Historic District; and in 1998 the park was named one of the nation's 100 most important parks by the American Association of Architects.
The footbridge over Washington Park Lake is the only remaining original structure in Washington Park; erected over the lake in 1875 the lamps on the bridge were originally gas burning but were electrified in 1881. The current Washington Park Lake House was built in 1929 (replacing the original stick style structure constructed in 1876). It is constructed in the Spanish Revival style. The area in front of the lake house has been the site for the performance of plays by the Park Playhouse for over 20 years. A 900 seat amphitheater faces the lake house allowing for comfortable seating for the over 60,000 people who visit every year.
Existing monuments in the park include: Dr. James H. Armsby Memorial, Robert Burns Statue, King Memorial Fountain (Moses), Marinus Willett Memorial, Soldiers and Sailors' Monument, and the Henry Johnson Memorial.