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William T. Stead Memorial map_it

History

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

Located just north of Engineer’s Gate at 91st Street and Fifth Avenue, this bronze bas-relief remembers British journalist William T. Stead (1849–1912), who perished along with over 1,500 others when the RMS Titanic sank on April 15, 1912. This piece is a replica of a work by British sculptor George James Frampton (1860–1928) whose original is set into a wall along London’s Embankment promenade on the Thames River. The American version, located at Fifth Avenue at 91st Street, is set into the wall of Central Park.

Stead was a well-known journalist who founded the Review of Reviews publication in 1890. He bravely distinguished himself by helping others at the expense of his own life while the Titanic sank into the depths of the North Atlantic. A memorial was erected in London in 1913 following the tragedy. New Yorkers dedicated a copy on July 5, 1920, in this limestone setting designed by the architectural firm of Carrère and Hastings.

Two allegorical figures flank the inscription, a knight representing Fortitude and an angel figure representing Sympathy. The knight was stolen in the 1930s and resculpted in 1936. In 1996 the Central Park Conservancy restored the monument and replaced the missing features.

William T. Stead Memorial Details

  • Location: Fifth Avenue at 91st Street, against park wall
  • Sculptor: George William Frampton
  • Architect: Carrere and Hastings
  • Description: Bas-relief plaque on stele: plaque has enframed bust in profile facing proper left, festoons of foliage above and beside frame; standing figures, knight and angel (reduced size), support inscription
  • Materials: Bronze, Indiana limestone
  • Dimensions: Plaque H: 4' W: 5'; stele H: 7'2" W: 6'
  • Cast: 1920
  • Dedicated: July 5, 1920
  • Donor: Committee of the American Stead Memorial
  • Inscription: W.T. STEAD / 1849 --- 1912 / THIS TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF A / JOURNALIST OF WORLDWIDE RENOWN IS / ERECTED BY AMERICAN FRIENDS AND / ADMIRERS. HE MET DEATH ABOARD THE / TITANIC APRIL 15 1912 AND IS NUMBERED / AMONGST THOSE WHO DYING NOBLY / ENABLED OTHERS TO LIVE. / FINIS CORONAT OPUS. / FORTITUDE ---- SYMPATHY /

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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