“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Simon Bolivar Statue

Central Park South

Simon Bolivar Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bonnie Page
1. Simon Bolivar Marker
Inscription. 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. Farnhamís 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
Simon Bolivar statue image. Click for full size.
2. Simon Bolivar statue
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 plazaís 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.
Location. 40° 45.941′ N, 73° 58.549′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is at the intersection of 59th Street and Avenue of the Americas, on the right when traveling west on 59th Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10019, United States of America.
Other nearby markers.
Jose Julian Marti statue image. Click for full size.
3. Jose Julian Marti statue
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Artists' Gate (within shouting distance of this marker); Hallett Nature Sanctuary (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ignacy Jan Paderewski (about 600 feet away); Lombard Lamp (about 700 feet away); The Plaza Hotel (about 700 feet away); 130 West 57th Street (approx. 0.2 miles away); Doris C. Freedman Plaza (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Metropolitan Club (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
Categories. Hispanic Americans
Jose de San Martin statue image. Click for full size.
4. Jose de San Martin statue
Avenue of the Americas image. Click for full size.
5. Avenue of the Americas
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 19, 2011, by Bonnie Page of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 896 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 19, 2011, by Bonnie Page of New York, New York.   5. submitted on May 20, 2011, by Bonnie Page of New York, New York. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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