Location: Columbus Circle (intersection of 59th Street, Broadway, and Central Park West)
Artist/Designer: Atilio Piccirilli, sculptor; Harold Van Buren Magonile, architect
Materials: Maine granite, Tennessee pink marble, bronze, brass
Funding: National Maine Monument Fund and United Spanish War Veterans
The U.S.S. battleship Maine blew up in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898, killing 258 American sailors. While the cause of the explosion was never conclusively determined, the disaster was used to justify war against Spain. After a four-month war, the United States had gained territories and recognition as a world power.
The publisher of the New York Journal, William Randolph Hearst, called for a public memorial to honor the lost sailors. He started a campaign to fund the monument through public subscription. Pennies of schoolchildren supplemented much larger donations.
This complex monument consists of a center pylon with a fountain at its base. High atop the pylon, the gilded bronze figure of Columbia Triumphant rides in a seashell pulled by three gilded seahorses. The bronze used in these figures was supposedly recovered from the Maine. At the fountain (street) level, allegorical figures adorn all sides. Some of the more recognizable figures include a youth with outstretched arms at the prow of a ship and behind him a mother comforting a child whose father was probably off at war or killed.
USS Maine National Monument
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