Bronze statue on cast stone base. The 2.10 m tall statue depicts a youthful Columbus standing at the helm of a ship.
On the stone base:
Close to the statue a bronze marker in the pavement has the text:
ON THIS SITE
WILL BE ERECTED
A MONUMENT TO
THIS TABLET DEDICATED
ON OCTOBER 12 1937
BY THE ITALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF
THE BOROUGH OF QUEENS & ALLIED SOCIETIES.
Circumscribed: BUT FOR COLUMBUS THERE WOULD BE NO AMERICA, PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT.
A. Racioppi | N.Y.C. W.P.A. ART PROJECT
The cast iron statue was built just before World War II by Italians living in Astoria, but could not be erected because the residents couldn't afford money for the statue's base. The statue was dedicated on October 12, 1941. In the fall of 1942 the statue was moved to a city warehouse; however, fearing scrap metal drives of WWII, the statue was moved again to the basement of the Queens Borough Hall. In 1945 the sculpture was reinstalled in its current location.
The statue was donated by the New York City WPA (Works Progress Administration) Art Project.
Sources & Information
- Thanks to the New York taxi driver who brought me fast from Manhattan (Chelsea) to Queens and back to the New York Public Library in Manhattan, so that I was there just in time!) - but I did not see the marker in the pavement.
- Tributes to Christopher Columbus in the United States.
- Angela Montefinise, Italians In Queens: Of Faith, Family, Food And The Best Bocce. Queens Tribune.
- Photo marker: Bridge and Tunnel Club, Columbus Square.
- Smithsonian American Art Museum, SIRIS (Smithsonian Institution Research Information system).
Location (N 40°46'12" - W 73°55'3")
Item Code: usny24;
Photograph: 17 October 2001
© Website and photos: René & Peter van der Krogt
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