Li Pigna (The Pine Cone) and Garbaldi Square
This gateway arch over Atwells Avenue has become a symbol of the Federal Hill neighborhood. The pine cone in the middle of the arch reflects the neighborhood's Italian heritage, as the pine cone is a traditional Italian symbol of welcome and abundance. Many visitors and even residents erroneously mistake the pine cone for a pineapple. Next to the arch is a small park known as Garibaldi Square that features a pedestal and bust of Giuseppe Garibaldi, a 19th century military and political leader that worked to create the modern nation of Italy and prevent its occupation by France and other European powers.
Backstory and Context
The area was sparsely-settled until the mid-19th century, when hundreds of Irish immigrants moved into the neighborhood. An even larger migration occurred in the 1870s, consisting of hundreds of families from Southern Italy. By the turn-of-the century, the neighborhood was divided between Italian and Irish immigrants, each fighting to maintain their own language and culture while winning acceptance and economic security from the city's "white" majority. By the mid-20th century, the second, third, and even fourth generation of the neighborhood's early Irish and Italian families had mostly assimilated into the city.