New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
John Ambrose Statue
Ambrose was born on January 10, 1838 in New Castle, Ireland, and as a child immigrated with his family to the United States. Though forced to work at an early age, he prepared for college, and later attended New York and Princeton universities. While he intended to join the ministry, in 1860 he joined the staff of the Citizens’ Association, one of the City’s earlier reform movements.
Later in his career, Ambrose was involved in several significant construction projects, including the building of the Second Avenue and Sixth Avenue elevated rails, the pneumatic tubes for the Western Union Telegraph Company, and the development of many northern Manhattan streets, particularly in Harlem.
In the 1880s, Ambrose organized and was president of the Brooklyn Wharf and Dry Dock Company, and the founder of the 39th Street South Brooklyn
Soon after his death, friends of Ambrose gave his children a sculptural portrait bust by Andrew O’Connor Jr. (1874-1941), a well-respected sculptor of his day who received many private and public commissions. In the 1930s, Ambrose’s family in turn gave the sculpture to the city. NYC Parks’ chief consultant architect Aymer Embury II (1880-1966) designed an architectural setting and wall niche for the sculpture which was inserted into the New York Aquarium at Castle Garden, and decorated with a relief map of the harbor by Frederick G.R. Roth (1872-1944). The monument was dedicated by Mayor Fiorello La Guardia (1882-1947) on June 3, 1936.
In the 1950s, the monument was relocated to the south wall of the concession building in lower Battery Park, but in November 1990 the bronze bust was stolen from its niche. The monument was fully restored and relocated in 2017 to a more visible, newly landscaped park perimeter location at State and Pearl Streets, and its long-missing bust recreated by referencing historical photographs. On May, 2018 the monument was re-dedicated in a ceremony attended by numerous descendants of Ambrose.
Erected by NYC Parks.
Location. 40° 42.146′ N, 74° 0.849′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on State Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Battery Park, New York NY 10004, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John Wolfe Ambrose (a few steps from this marker); New York Unearthed / The Shrine of Elizabeth Ann Seton (within shouting distance of this marker); Watson House (within shouting distance of this marker); New Amsterdam Plein: One (within shouting distance of this marker); New Amsterdam Plein: Nine (within shouting distance of this marker); New Amsterdam Plein: Eight (within shouting distance of this marker); New Amsterdam Plein: Seven (within shouting distance of this marker); New Amsterdam Plein: Two (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
Also see . . . The Battery: John Wolfe Ambrose. Official NYC Parks description of the monument. (Submitted on June 13, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 13, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 13, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 84 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 13, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.