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General Jose de San Martin map_it

History

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This heroic bronze equestrian statue depicts Argentine general José de San Martín (1778–1850), who helped Argentina, Chile, and Peru gain independence from the Spanish in the early part of the 19th century. The statue is a replica of a work by French sculptor Louis Joseph Daumas (1801–1887) dating to 1862. The original is in Buenos Aires in a more elaborate setting. In 1950 the City of Buenos Aires gave this piece to the City of New York, in exchange for a statue previously sent to Argentina of General George Washington to whom San Martín is often compared. The monument was dedicated on May 25, 1951 on a pedestal of polished black granite designed by the noted architectural firm of Clarke & Rapuano.

The piece is one of a trio of bronze equestrian sculptures representing Latin-American leaders that greet visitors to Central Park at the north end of Avenue of the Americas. Formerly Sixth Avenue, Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia (1882–1947) suggested renaming it in 1945, to honor Pan-American ideals and principles. Following the renaming of Sixth Avenue, a new plaza was designed where the avenue meets Central Park, and the monument of Simon Bolivar (1783–1830) was moved to the eastern side of the plaza and rededicated in 1951. A month later the statue of San Martín was unveiled on the plaza’s west side, and in 1965 the monument to Cuban patriot and author José Martí (1853–1895) was dedicated between the two earlier works.

The monument was conserved in 1995 by the Central Park Conservancy with financial help from the Government of Argentina and the Comisión pro Restauración Monumento General José de San Martín. Photo of Jose de San Martin statue in Central Park

General Jose de San Martin Details

  • Location: Central Park South and Avenue of the Americas
  • Sculptor: Louis-Joseph Daumas
  • Architect: Clarke, Rapuano and Holleran
  • Description: Equestrian figure (over life-size)on integral plinth, on pedestal with escutcheon
  • Materials: Figure and escutcheon--bronze; pedestal--granite
  • Dimensions: Figure H: 14'; Pedestal H: 20'4" W: 6'1" D: 12'6"
  • Cast: circa 1950
  • Dedicated: May 25, 1951
  • Foundry: Humberto Radaelli, Buenos Aires
  • Donor: City of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Inscription: HOMENAJE AL BICENTENARIO DEL NACIMIENTO DEL LIBERADOR DE/ ARGENTINE, CHILE Y PERU. GENERAL DON JOSE DE SAN MARTIN / CUSULADO GENERAL ARGENTINO. / MISSION ARGENTINA ANTE NACIONES UNIDAS COMMUNIDAD ARGENTINA EN NUEVA YORK. / 25 DE FEBRERO DE 1978./

    SIZES: PEDESTAL: 20'4"H X 6'1"W X 12'6"D
    STATUE: 14'H X 17'L

    THIS STATUE IS A REDUCED SIZED COPY OF THE ORIGINAL IN BUENOS AIRES WHICH WAS ERECTED JULY 13, 1862.

Please note, the NAME field includes a primary designation as well as alternate namings often in common or popular usage. The DEDICATED field refers to the most recent dedication, most often, but not necessarily the original dedication date. If the monument did not have a formal dedication, the year listed reflects the date of installation.

For more information, please contact Art & Antiquities at (212) 360-8143

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Know Before You Go

There are currently 2 service interruptions affecting access within this park.

ParkCentral Park

As of April 27, Central Park's Bow Bridge is closed to the public for structural work and a fresh coat of paint. The work is expected to last three to four months. Removing the old paint will require wrapping the bridge in a tent-like structure to prevent debris from falling into the water. Along with repainting, the work will include replacing the wooden decking, fixing several beams on the underside of the span, and reinforcing approaches at either end.
Anticipated Completion: Summer 2015

ParkCentral Park

Starting June 29, 2015, Central Park Drives north of 72nd Street will be permanently car-free. For more information, please visit on.nyc.gov/1MOAh40.

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