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Theodore Roosevelt Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, October 20, 2003

NEW NOBEL MONUMENT HONORS AMERICAN WINNERS IN THEODORE ROOSEVELT PARK


On Tuesday, October 14, thirty Nobel Prize Laureates joined Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to unveil the much-anticipated Nobel Monument in Manhattan’s Theodore Roosevelt Park. The City of New York and the Consulate General of Sweden in New York erected the monument in honor of Alfred Nobel and the American Nobel Laureates. H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway took part in the ceremony, along with Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden Margareta Winberg, Consul General of Sweden in New York Olle Wästberg, Deputy Mayor for Administration Patricia E. Harris, and Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe

"New York City is a fitting home for the Nobel Monument which recognizes the efforts Americans have made towards creating a more peaceful, safe, and healthy world," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Last week, Nobel Prizes were awarded to six Americans – two of which were New Yorkers. And I am especially proud to say that of the 271 Americans that have received the Nobel Prize, 24 have been graduates of New York City’s public schools. We are honored to be joining our Swedish friends in marking this historic moment in New York City history and in the history of the Nobel Prize."

"The New York City area is home to dozens of Nobel Laureates," said Commissioner Benepe. "This handsome stone obelisk is the City’s newest permanent work of art and its first tribute to intellectual and artistic achievement—a shrine to the mind that will inspire the next generation of Laureates."

Theodore Roosevelt Park, home to the American Museum of Natural History since 1869, is named for the U.S. President who in 1906 was the first American to win a Nobel Prize (for Peace). The $400,000 installation and long-term maintenance endowment for the monument was funded primarily by Merck Company Foundation, with additional support from Skanska, Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, Ambassador and Mrs. Lyndon L. Olson, and NCR Corporation.

The monument is a monolith with four sides of rough-hewn red Swedish granite. Two steps lead to the monolith and each corner is framed by a rounded piece of polished black diabase (granite). At the top, each corner is punctuated by small bronze spheres. A bronze relief medallion, depicting a likeness of Alfred Nobel, is installed on the front face on the monolith. Below the medallion text reads "Founder of the Nobel Prize, Swedish Inventor, Industrialist, Philanthropist and Humanist" and above reads "Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Peace, Economics." The remaining three sides bear the inscription "American Recipients of the Nobel Prize." Beginning on the west face, a chronological list of 271 American recipients of the Nobel prize is inscribed. Space has been reserved to inscribe the names of future American Nobel prizewinners. Parks & Recreation renovated the small plaza surrounding the Nobel Monument. Immediately around the monument there is a ring of red granite. Beyond that there are rings of belfast black granite pavers, octagonal bands of granite and asphalt paving blocks.

The Nobel Monument was first proposed by the Consulate General of Sweden in New York and American Nobel Laureates. Work began in late 2001 after it received approval from the Art Commission and Landmarks Preservation Commission. The monument was designed by Sivert Lindblom, one of Sweden’s foremost designers of urban spaces and who designed the Holocaust Monument in Stockholm. It was produced by Skånska Granit in Sweden and the typography was designed by Lars Hall AB.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"The manner of giving is worth more than the gift."

Pierre Corneille

(1606-1684)

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