Location: 59th Street and Fifth Avenue (Grand Army Plaza)
Artist/Designer: Karl Bitter, overall design; Isidore Konti, sculptor of Pomona; Orazio Piccirilli, sculptor of horns of plenty; Thomas Hastings, architect
Materials: Bronze, Hauteville marble
Funding: Estate of Joseph Pulitzer
Inspired by the Place de la Concorde in Paris, Karl Bitter, whose sculptural works can be found throughout New York City, wanted to transform the southeast entrance of Central Park from a rather simple, tree-lined affair into a grand public space. When publisher Joseph Pulitzer bequeathed $50,000 for the project, Bitter began to work with the architect Thomas Hastings to design what would become Grand Army Plaza. The statue of General Sherman, installed in 1903, was moved to make the plaza more symmetrical, and space was provided for formal arrangements of trees and flowers. For the south end of the plaza, Bitter designed the fountain with the goddess Pomona, representing abundance, at the top.
After completing a plaster model, Bitter was struck by an automobile. He did not live to see his plaza completed. Isidore Konti transformed Bitter’s plaster model into the bronze statue we see in front of the Plaza Hotel. Today the Pulitzer Fountain serves not only as a Park entrance but also as a transition between the rigidly laid out city and the landscaped, pastoral Park.
Pulitzer Fountain (Pomona)
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