Major Mark Park
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Soldiers and Sailors Monument
Located in the center of the park, this bronze angel figure commemorates Union Army soldiers and sailors from Queens who died during the Civil War. Alsatian-born and French-trained sculptor Frederic Wellington Ruckstull (1853–1942) created the piece in 1896, which is located within Major Mark Park in Queens. The allegorical piece contains symbols of victory (the laurel wreath in the left hand) and peace (the palm frond in the right hand) that are typical of war memorials from the period.
Ruckstull completed a number of Civil War monuments for both Northern and Southern communities; it is interesting to note that this monument appears to be the model for a similar piece the artist created to commemorate the South Carolina Women of the Confederacy. Sculptor Ruckstull also cast the original bronze pieces for the Dongan Oak Marker (1922) in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park as well as the Wisdom and Force statues (both 1900) featured outside Manhattan’s Appellate Court building at Madison Avenue and 25th Street.
In 1960 the monument, then situated in a small traffic island, was moved to Major Mark Park. In 1996 the monument was conserved through the Adopt-A-Monument Program, a joint venture of the Municipal Art Society, Parks and the New York City Art Commission.
Soldiers and Sailors Monument Details
- Location: 173rd Street and Hillside
- Sculptor: Frederick Wellington Ruckstull
- Description: Standing angel figure (over life-size) holding a laurel wreath in her left hand and a palm bough in her right,, on integral plinth on pedestal
- Materials: Bronze; Westerly granite
- Dimensions: Figure H: 10'9"; Pedestal H: 10' W: 3'6" D: 3'6"
- Cast: 1896
- Dedicated: 1896