Central Park’s first statue of real women moves forward
Central Park boasts statues of angels, nymphs, and fictional characters who are women, but not a single monument to the real pioneers of their time. That will soon change. The city’s Public Design Commission approved the preliminary design of a bronze and granite statue of Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton on Monday.
“With this statue we are finally breaking the bronze ceiling,” said Pam Elam, president of Monumental Women, the nonprofit working to place the statue in the park.
The 14-foot high monument, designed by sculptor Meredith Bergmann, shows the three women seated around a table mid-discussion—and hints at the tension between the suffragettes. The original design included just Anthony and Stanton, who have a history of employing racist rhetoric, unfurling a scroll with the names of 22 other suffragists inscribed on it, but only a handful of black women made it onto that list. Critics argued that excluding African American change makers whitewashed history.
The design was taken back to the drawing board, and Sojourner Truth, the abolitionist and women’s rights activist who gave the famed “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech in 1851, was given a seat at the table. Monumental Women says the group aims to unveil the statue on August 26, 2020 in honor of the 100-year anniversary of women earning the right to vote.
In other news...
- Despite boasting restaurants with some of the world’s most prominent chefs, not one of Hudson Yards’ eateries earned a star from the latest New York Michelin Guide. Curious who did? Eater NY has you covered with a map of all 76 restaurants that made the list.
- A construction update on 611 West 56th Street, a 37-story tower designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza. The project will be Siza’s first in the U.S.
- Second Avenue Sagas explores the success of the transformational 14th Street busway.
- City Council Speaker Corey Johnson floats the idea of a busway on Manhattan’s 42nd or 34th streets.
- The Highbridge stairway featured in the DC blockbuster “Joker” is luring droves of tourists for their own creepy clown moment.
- Chelsea’s beloved hot chocolate and pretzel croissant purveyor, City Bakery, has closed its doors after nearly 30 years in business. The New York staple received a flurry of eulogies on social media, and we here at Curbed NY are also devastated to see them go.
- A 19th-century Clinton Hill townhouse has transformed into The Addams Family Mansion from the hit 1960s comedy sitcom. Book a stay if you dare.
- And, finally, a snake-clad sculpture of President Donald Trump is floating in the waters of the Gowanus Canal. You know, just a typical day in Brooklyn: