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Columbus State Community College

Christopher Columbus at State Community College

Alfred Solani

Columbus /  Christopher Columbus at State Community College   Columbus /  Christopher Columbus at State Community College


Statue of Columbus standing on a cylindric base. He points with his right hand and holds a scrolled object in his left hand. He wears a tunic, tights and a long fur coat with puffed sleeves. The statue originally stood at the bow of a replica of the Santa Maria.


There is a plaque with the name of the donators. Who will make photo for me?


The statue was donated by William "Bubba" Fontana, to the city of Barrington, Ill. (north suburb of Chicago), and was created by Alfred Solani in 1950. It's made of marble. Bubba was in charge of relocating the statue from Italy, in which cost his father in law Anthony "Tony" DeTomasi $250,000 in 1950 to have the statue shipped here. Once the statue was here Fontana, Julius and Augie Parachelli pieced the statue together, and built the ship from scratch. Each of the three men were brick masons by trade. Bubba and his wife Olga decided to see if the town of Barrington would accept the statue and maintain it over the years. Barrington agreed to this and Olga and Bubba donated the land where the statue resided as well as 5 acres of land around the lake, where the park currently is to this day. In the early 1980’s the ship started to show some storm damage and the town refused to maintain the statue. The cost to repair the ship would have cost $100,000. Since Barrington didn’t maintain the statue, Olga and Bubba decided they were going to take the statue back and find a city that would maintain the upkeep on this amazing statue. Columbus Ohio was the place that accepted the offer. It was brought to Columbus in 1986, refurbished and erected on the campus of Columbus State Community College in 1988. Bubba and Olga were at the revealing of the statue in 1988.

The photo shows the moment when the Belding Walbridge Company is moving the statue from the Barrington park for the transfer to Ohio. The relocation was directed by Rick Belding of that Company. The company moved only the statue, not any of the base--not the ship's hull that you can see in the photo or the marble base. Mr. Belding told that folks in Barrington requested from the city of Barrington and received pieces of the marble base. These pieces of the former statue base are now used as tabletops, etc. The Columbus College/University only wanted the statue itself. Mr. Belding indicated that his company had no trouble in the relocation process.
In the park in Barrington you can still see the little hill upon which the Columbus monument was, as well as a small pile of stones left over from the statue relocation.


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Item Code: usoh06; Added: 8 October 2006  / Updated: 6 January 2011

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