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Location: Merchants' Gate, West 59th Street at Columbus Circle.
Sculptor: Attilio Picarelli (1866-1945)
Placed in the Park: 1913
Material: Marble, gilded bronze
Donor: Gift of the National Maine Monument Fund Committee
The Maine Monument stands at the entrance to the Park at Merchants' Gate, named by the Commissioners of Central Park in 1862 to honor commerce and business professions for their important contribution to New York City.
The monument commemorates the 260 American sailors who perished when the battleship Maine exploded in the harbor of Havana, Cuba, then under Spanish rule.
the explosion occurred on February 15, 1898 and Spain declared war on the United States by April 1898. The treaty, which ended the war in December 1898, freed Cuba from Spanish dominion, ceded Puerto Rico and Guam and surrendered the Philippines to the United States.
Four days after the Maine went down, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst's New York Morning Journal called for a public collection for a monument to honor the sailors. Over the course of several years, the newspaper received large monetary gifts as well as thousands of dollars in pennies collected from schoolchildren.
The gilded bronze figures atop the pylon represent Columbia Triumphant leading a seashell chariot of three hippocampi — part horse, part sea-creature and are said to be cast from metal recovered from the guns of the Maine itself. The figures reflect America's new position as a dominant world force just as the imposing Beaux-Arts structure symbolizes America's bold and grandiose domination of territories.
In 1995, the Central Park Conservancy regilded the figure. Conservancy sculptors carved new pieces for missing part of the monument, and the stone was cleaned, repainted, and pigeon-proofed. In 1997, the Conservancy restored Merchant’s Gate and its surrounding landscape, transforming it into an inviting public plaza.
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Photo taken in Midtown, New York, NY, USA
Columbus Circle Gallery
Misplaced? Suggest new location