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Monument Detail

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Introduction
1)
Title
Henry Hudson Monument
2)
Town, State
New York, NY
3)
ID #
1125
4)
Compilation Date (Initial)
June 15, 2003
5)
Compilation Date (Latest)
June 15, 2003
6)
Site Worked Last
February 19, 2009
Description
This 16-foot statue of bronze honors Henry Hudson, explorer and captain. An Englishman sailing under the Dutch flag – and here standing on-high, atop a Doric column -- Hudson seems to peer out over the prow of his ship, the Half Moon. The memorial commemorates the first European to sail today’s Hudson River; the establishment of the initial fur trading post on the Island of Manhattan; and, the discoverer’s charter with the Dutch East India Company – mission: find a “northern passage to Asia,” to use Shorto’s words. The memorial stands on Spuyten Duyvil Hill amidst a plaza some 200 feet above tidewater, and from this perch mounted another 100 feet upward, at the top of the Milford pink granite column, the pioneer overlooks the New Jersey Palisades as well as the Harlem and East Rivers. The Hudson Monument Committee commissioned architect Walter Cook to design the column (erected, 1912); Vienna-trained sculptor Karl Bitter to design the statue (by 1915, he had created a model, when he died in an auto accident); and, according to two sources, Henry M. Shrady to design a tablet for the monument’s base (two narrative reliefs were later made, by Karl Gruppe, not Shrady). To complete statue, panels and foundry work, the Henry Hudson Parkway Authority years later commissioned Karl Heinrick Gruppe, former student of Bitter and a sculptor who worked well into the 20th century, and Roman Bronze Works, New York, the country’s paramount bronze house. The monument’s cornerstone, laid September 27, 1909, also housed a box (effectively, a time capsule) containing period items, including proceedings of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration 1909. While work on the monument, sponsored and supported by public contribution and businesses, got under way in 1906, it was not unveiled until January l6, 1938. (For a summary time-line and notable sources, see COMMENTS section, below.)
Content
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1)
Continental discovery/expansion
2)
Foreign national/NonAmerican
3)
Explorer
5)
Caucasian
6)
Not Applicable
Design
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1.)
Man-made
2.)
Inscription/Text Design
Integrated
3)
Statue(s) w/wo pedestal
4)
Stone/rock and metal
5)
Big
6)
Main + Two
7)
Inscribed/lettered directly
8)
Text available, all
9)
Yes (see below)
9.1)
Image numbering/location
5900-926.6, 5900-926.7, 5900-926.8, 5900-926.9, 5900-926.10, 5900-926.11, 5900-926.12, 5900-926.13, 5900-926.14,5900-926.15
10)
Design Preservation
Good
11)
Inscript. Separate from M|M
No
12)
Designers
12.1)
Designer 1
Artist/Artistic Group: Bitter, Karl
12.2)
Designer 2
Artist/Artistic Group: Gruppe, Karl Heinrich
13)
Fabricators/Builders
Known
13.1)
Fabricator/Builder 1
Roman Bronze Works 
13.2)
Fabricator City
New York 
13.3)
Fabricator State
NY 
13.4)
Fabricator Country
United States 
Setting
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1)
Plaza arrangement
2)
Land (elevation/depression) , Open Space
3)
Appearance/Setting
Completed
3.1)
Appeal of the Item
6 Very Good
3.2)
Setting appears appropriate
6 Very Good
3.3)
Traffic near for access, distanced for appreciation
5 Good
3.4)
Visualization and panorama
4 Satisfactory
3.5)
Opportunity to view, to enjoy the item
6 Very Good
3.6)
Overall Averaged Score
5.4 Good (Given a 1.0 - 7.0 Range)
To calculate comparative appearance estimates, CLICK HERE
4)
1909
5)
January 06, 1938
6)
Not Entered
7)
Not Entered
10)
Other Monuments on Site
11)
Satisfactory
12)
Local government
Themes
1)
MonumentsandMemorials.com Themes
Bas Relief Works
2)
National Historic Landmark Themes
Dutch and Swedish Exploration and Settlement
Demography
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1)
File Number
54
2)
Town/City
New York
3)
County
Bronx
4)
District
Riverdale
5)
State
NY
6)
Zip
10463
7)
Country
United States
8)
Latitude (GPS)
40.8823510000
9)
Longitude (GPS)
-73.9182310000
10)
Intersecting Street 1
Independence Ave
11)
Intersecting Street 2
West 227th St
12)
Additional Identifier 1
Hudson Fulton Champlain Quad 2009
13)
Additional Identifier 2
Henry Hudson Memorial Park
15)
Man-made
16)
16.1)
Business/businesses
16.2)
Government, Local
16.3)
Membership Group/Public Contribution
17)
First Americans/Colonists 1492-1775
18)
Compilation Date (Initial)
June 15, 2003
19)
19.1)
Site Survey
19.2)
Government Materials
19.3)
Newspaper
19.4)
Promotional Materials
19.5)
Website
20)
Compilation Date (Latest)
Not Entered
21)
Compilation Technique (Latest)
22)
Source Originator
monumentsandmemorials.com
Comments and Notes
TITLE, ALTERNATE: Henry Hudson Memorial
DESIGN: Architect -- Walter Cook; member, Babb Cook and Welch
DESIGN DEVELOPMENT:
1906 Hudson-Fulton Celebration 1909, with which the monument became associated, formed.
1909 Monument site donated by local business leaders; cornerstone laid.
1912 Doric column installed, as designed by architect Walter Cook, of Babb, Cook and Welch.
1915 Sculptor Bitter killed when struck by auto. Unrelated, monument funds depleted.
1924 Letter to editor, NY Times, by Municipal Art Society, calls for action to complete monument.
1935 Parks Commissioner Robert Moses restarts project with Gruppe as sculptor.
1938 Statue, two bronze plaques and engraving completed and unveiled.
1939 Dedicated in this year, according to SIRIS.
SPONSOR(S): Hudson Monument Committee, Dr. James Douglas, chair.; the initial work
SPONSOR(S): Henry Hudson Parkway Authority; the later work
SOURCES (work in progress): Bogart, Public Sculpture and the Civic Ideal in New York City; Fried and Gillon, New York Civic Sculpture; Hall, Hudson-Fulton Celebration 1909; Henderson, A Loiterer in New York; Lederer, All Around the Town; Parks and Recreation, City of New York; Reynolds, Monuments and Masterpieces; Shorto, The Island at the Center of the World; SIRIS; Sharp, Lewis I., New York City Public Sculpture



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