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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Corpus Christi in Nueces County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Gutzon Borglum and the Corpus Christi Bayfront

 
 
Gutzon Borglum and the Corpus Christi Bayfront Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 16, 2018
1. Gutzon Borglum and the Corpus Christi Bayfront Marker
Inscription.
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 of harbor improvement. In the spring of 1928, city property holders approved part of his plan, but a subsequent bond election for the entire proposal was cancelled. A further attempt by the sculptor
Gutzon Borglum Corpus Christi Bayfront Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 16, 2018
2. Gutzon Borglum Corpus Christi Bayfront Marker (tall view)
to secure New Deal funds for the bayfront was unsuccessful. Ultimately, his plans for sculpting four of the nation’s foremost presidents onto Mount Rushmore redirected Borglum’s attention away from Corpus Christi and its needed seawall.
Marker is property of The State of Texas

 
Erected 2017 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 18482.)
 
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.
 
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 (about 800 feet away); Corpus Christi (approx. 0.2 miles away); Gold Star Court of Honor (approx. 0.3 miles away); Broadway Bluff Improvement (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Corpus Christi.
 
Also see . . .
Gutzon Borglum Corpus Christi Bayfront Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 16, 2018
3. Gutzon Borglum Corpus Christi Bayfront Marker (wide view)

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
Gutzon Borglum Corpus Christi Bayfront Marker (<i>wide view; showing adjacent marker on right</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 16, 2018
4. Gutzon Borglum Corpus Christi Bayfront Marker (wide view; showing adjacent marker on right)
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.) 
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, Music
 
Corpus Christi Seawall (<i>view from near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 16, 2018
5. Corpus Christi Seawall (view from near marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 21, 2018. This page originally submitted on May 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 69 times since then. 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.
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