Saturday, June 9, 2018

Late spring cleaning for Samuel S. Cox in Tompkins Square Park

Thanks to EVG reader Sparber for these photos from Thursday... in which the Samuel S. Cox statue on Seventh Street near Avenue A in Tompkins Square Park gets a touch up heading into the summer...

Here's some history of the statue via the Parks Dept.:

After the statue’s unveiling on Independence Day 1891, the New York Tribune noted, somewhat less charitably, that Cox’s “usually genial countenance is strained” and “out of harmony” with the Congressman’s natural demeanor. “The likeness is not a good one, and the facial resemblance is hardly suggestive,” the article added. A New York Times account of the ceremony questioned whether the statue “will ever be greatly admired as a work of art.” Nevertheless, a reported 2,500 letter carriers came from as far away as New Orleans and Memphis to participate in the moving ceremony to honor Cox at the statue’s unveiling.

The statue originally stood near Cox’s home on East 12th Street at the intersection of Lafayette Street, Fourth Avenue, and Astor Place. In November 1924, due to a street-widening project in the vicinity of Astor Place, it was moved to its current location at the southwest corner of Tompkins Square Park.

At the time of the statue's arrival in Tompkins Square Park, several EVG readers questioned the wisdom of this placement, noting Cox's past as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and his status as a native Ohioan. A few readers were also concerned about the street-widening project at Astor Place, with one noting the area would soon become "Lower Manhattan North" and "a playground for even more aristocrats!"

No comments: