Corpus Christi in Nueces County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Gutzon Borglum and the Corpus Christi Bayfront
Well-known in San Antonio for his “Trail Drivers” sculpture on permanent display inside the Witte Museum, Danish-American artist Gutzon Borglum (1867-1941) made several proposals to the City of Corpus Christi in the early twentieth century for the beautification of the bayfront. In 1928, he arrived in the area at the request of the city’s chamber of commerce in order to plan for the incorporation of practical and visual improvements to the beach front.
Eager to begin this project, Borglum generously offered his services at no cost to the city. He designed a promenade that would incorporate a system of parks and boulevards in addition to an improved seawall. Impressed at learning that Corpus Christi was the only city in the United States to bear that name, he sought to include a 32-foot-high Christ statue. Anchored in the seawall itself, the sculpture would appear to be walking on water with its hands upraised as though protecting the city from inclement weather.
In preparation for carrying out his proposals for Corpus Christi, Borglum toured Gulf Coast cities in order to identify other effective examples
Erected 2017 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 18482.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Arts, Letters, Music.
Location. 27° 47.74′ N, 97° 23.466′ W. Marker is in Corpus Christi, Texas, in Nueces County. Marker is at the intersection of North Shoreline Boulevard and Schatzell Street, on the right when traveling north on North Shoreline Boulevard. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Corpus Christi TX 78401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 1941 Corpus Christi Seawall (here, next to this marker); Selena Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Niña (about 500 feet away); Capitán Blas María de la Garza Falcón (about 600 feet away); Site of Nueces Hotel Site of Old Salt Mill (about 800 feet away); Corpus Christi (approx. 0.2 miles away); Gold Star Court of Honor (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Corpus Christi.
Also see . . .
1. Mount Rushmore artist gets Corpus Christi marker. Before Gutzon Borglum left Texas to carve the likenesses of four presidents onto the face of a mountain, he was in Corpus Christi planning a new seawall. The man behind Mount Rushmore once envisioned a giant bronze statue of Jesus that would appear to be walking on water along the downtown shoreline. (Submitted on May 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Historical marker honors Mount Rushmore sculptor for Corpus Christi Bayfront vision. (This link is a news story from the marker unveiling on July 6, 2017.) Borglum died in 1941. His granddaughter, Robin Borglum Kennedy, accepted the recognition on his behalf. Once Nueces County Historical Commission researcher Norman Delaney found out that one of the most famous American sculptors was linked to Corpus Christi, he wanted to get a historical marker in his honor. "It means the connection of our city with a very famous man," Delaney said. "He was not only nationally famous, but globally famous." (Submitted on May 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Borglum, John Gutzon De La Mothe (1867–1941). In 1925 the sculptor moved to Texas to work on the monument to trail drivers commissioned by the Trail Drivers Association. He subsequently planned the redevelopment of the Corpus Christi waterfront; the plan failed, although a model for a statue of Christ intended for it was later modified by his son and erected on a mountaintop in South Dakota. While living and working in Texas, Borglum took an interest in local beautification. He promoted change and modernity, although he was berated by academicians. (Submitted on May 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 21, 2018. It was originally submitted on May 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 227 times since then and 93 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.