The Daily Plant : Friday, February 17, 2006
Celebrate Presidents’ Day In New York City Parks
Monday is Presidentsâ?? Day, and New Yorkers have more to celebrate than a three-day weekend. There are 23 parks and more than three dozen sculptures, markers, or flagpoles in New York City that honor past presidents of our great nation. Read on for a list of sculptures and monuments in New York City parks:
George Washington at Valley Forge, Continental Army Plaza (at Williamsburg Bridge)
This striking equestrian work was sculpted by Henry Mervin Shrady, a life-long New Yorker. It depicts Washington during the six-month period from December 1777 to June 1778 when the Continental Army was encamped at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Shradyâ??s image in bronze portrays Washington in a vulnerable pose of contemplation, shrouded in a cloak to protect him from the severe weather.
Abraham Lincoln Statue, Prospect Park Concert Grove
This larger-than-life bronze by Henry Kirke Brown was dedicated in 1869. It is quite similar to a sculpture of Lincoln in Union Square, also by Brown, finished a year earlier but not dedicated until a year afterwards. This statue thus became the first of Lincoln erected in the Union.
Abraham Lincoln Relief, Sailors and Soldiers Arch, Grand Army Plaza
Installed in 1895, this reliefâ??along with one of Ulysses Grantâ??were created by Thomas Eakins and William Oâ??Donovan. Eakins sculpted the two horses, and Oâ??Donovan created the figures.
George Washington Statue, Union Square Park
This impressive bronze equestrian portrait of Washington is the oldest sculpture in Parksâ?? collection. It was modeled by Henry Kirke Brown and dedicated in 1865. The moment Brown depicts is that of Evacuation Day, November 25, 1783, when Washington reclaimed New York City from the British. His outstretched hand echoes many ancient sculptures, including the Marcus Aurelius statue in Rome.
Abraham Lincoln Statue, Union Square Park
This larger-than-life bronze by Henry Kirke Brown stands vigil on a busy crossroad at the north end of Union Square Park. It was dedicated in 1870 and conserved in 1992.
George Washington Sculptures at Washington Square Arch, Washington Square Park
Designed by architect Stanford White, the Arch was dedicated in 1895. Washington as Commander-in-Chief, Accompanied by Fame and Valor was designed by Hermon Atkins MacNeil and was installed in 1916. Washington as President, Accompanied by Wisdom and Justice was designed by Alexander Stirling Calder and installed in 1918. A major restoration of the arch was completed in December 2004.
George Washington Sculpture, inside City Hall
This likeness of Washington by the eminent sculptor Jean Antoine Houdon once stood at Riverside Park at 89th Street. It now greets visitors to City Hall.
Lafayette and Washington Statues, Lafayette Square (114th Street and Morningside Avenue)
After completing the Statue of Liberty, French sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi was commissioned by publisher Joseph Pulitzer to design this bronze statue depicting Washington and his esteemed Major General Bartholdi completed the original in Paris, and department store owner Charles Broadway Rouss bequeathed a fine replica to New York.
George Washington Statue, Flushing Meadows Corona Park (near Fountain of the Fairs)
This sculpture is a cast of an original Donald Delue sculpture that was displayed at the 1964 Worldâ??s Fair. When it was repaired and conserved in 1999, new cherry trees were planted in recognition of the childhood tale in which Washingtonâ??s honesty was confirmed through his confession of chopping down a cherry tree.
Presidentsâ?? Day, celebrated on the third Monday of February, was established as a national holiday in 1968. It combined holidays marking the anniversary of Washingtonâ??s and Lincolnâ??s birthdays (February 22 and February 12, respectively) but officially honors all past presidents.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others,
is one of the most difficult challenges."