Straus Park

The Daily Plant : Monday, April 16, 2007

Preserving The Straus Memorial

Yesterday was the 95th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912. In its commemoration, Parks’ Monuments Conservation Program recently performed preservation work on the Straus Memorial in Straus Park on Broadway and West 106th Street. Conservation work was led by Monuments Conservation Managers John Saunders and Christine Djuric.

This evocative memorial, Memory, was sculpted by Augustus Lukeman and dedicated on April 15, 1915. It honors Isadore and Ida Straus, who perished together on the Titanic when it sank on its maiden voyage from England to America. The ship hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank three hours later. More than 1,500 passengers and crew died in the disaster.

The following biblical quotation is inscribed on the rear exedra of the Straus Monument, paying tribute to Ida’s decision to remain aboard with her husband rather than save herself by boarding a lifeboat with the women and children.

Lovely and pleasant were they in their lives
And in their death they were not divided
II Samuel 1:23

In 1912, the City named this park after the Strauses, who had lived in a frame house at 27-47 Broadway, near 105th Street. Public subscriptions of $20,000 were raised to commission this monument. The work consists of a granite curved exedra, a central bronze reclining female figure of Memory (for which the celebrated model Audrey Munson posed), and a reflecting pool. The monument was dedicated three years to the day after the Titanic sank. Augustus Lukeman also sculpted the World War I Memorial statuary in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.

The History Channel is the lead sponsor of Parks & Recreation’s Citywide Monuments Conservation Program. This program, founded in 1997, conserves and maintains more than 1,000 monuments in New York City's parks.


On April 9, the insignia of Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star was bestowed upon Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe by Ambassador Ulf Hjertonsson, Consul General of Sweden in New York, at a ceremony at the Consul General’s residence. His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden appointed Commissioner Benepe to this distinction.

With this distinction, Commissioner Benepe is recognized for his service beyond the call of duty to promote Swedish-American relations, and in particular for his work with the Nobel Monument in Theodore Roosevelt Park, which was raised in 2003 and honors all American Nobel Laureates and Alfred Nobel.


“There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do,
and that is to contradict other philosophers.”

William James
(1842 – 1910)

Directions to Straus Park

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