Simon Bolivar Statue

Simon Bolivar Statue (HMSK3)

Location: New York, NY 10019 New York County
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Country: United States of America
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N 40° 45.941', W 73° 58.549'

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Central Park South

One of a trio of bronze equestrian sculptures representing Latin American leaders, the Simon Bolivar statue commemorates a military general and advocate of Pan-Americanism. Bolivar (1783-1840) is credited with the liberation from Spanish domination of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Panama.

R. De Las Cora designed the first statue of Simon Bolivar that was installed in Central Park in 1891 on a knoll near West 83rd Street, dubbed "Bolivar Hill." Critics of the statue believed it did not live up to the original artistic vision and it was subsequently removed at the direction of the Park Board. Sculptor Giovanni Turinni submitted a second interpretation of Bolivar in 1897, but it was rejected by the National Sculpture Society, which at that time advised the Board on sculpture installations.

In 1916, the Venezuelan government sponsored a worldwide competition to select a sculptor to render Bolivar. From 20 entrants, the committee selected Sally James Farnham (1876-1943), a relatively unknown sculptor. Farnham's statue depicts Bolivar in full military dress upon his steed, which has its hoofs in the air. The sculpture was dedicated at Bolivar Hill on April 19, 1921. United States President Warren G. Harding (1865-1923), who spoke at the event, used the occasion to deliver a major policy address in which he urged greater cooperation between North and South America.

In 1945, Six Avenue was renamed Avenue of the Americas at the suggestion of Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia (1882-19470), to honor Pan-American ideals and principles. A new plaza was designed where the avenue meets Central Park. The statue of Bolivar was moved to the eastern side of the plaza, placed on a new black granite pedestal designed by the firm of Clarke and Rapuano, and rededicated on April 19, 1951. A month later, the statue of Argentine general Jose de San Martin was unveiled on the plaza's west side, and in 1965 the dynamic statue of Cuban poet and activist Jose Marti was dedicated between the two earlier works.

In 1988, the Simon Bolivar statue was conserved through the Adopt-A-Monument Program, a joint venture of Parks, the Municipal Art Society, and the New York City Art Commission. The restored statue, now maintained by the Central Park Conservancy, remains a tangible symbol of the independence of Latin America.
HM NumberHMSK3
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 3:30am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 586440 N 4513250
Decimal Degrees40.76568333, -73.97581667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 45.941', W 73° 58.549'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 45' 56.46" N, 73° 58' 32.94" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)212, 646, 718, 917, 347
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 42 Central Park S, New York NY 10019, US
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