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Alexander Hamilton statue - Chicago, IL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member adgorn
N 41° 55.902 W 087° 38.306
16T E 447069 N 4642390
Quick Description: A standing, bronze (guilded) 13ft figure of Alexander Hamilton peers south over Lincoln Park.
Location: Illinois, United States
Date Posted: 6/7/2010 11:23:23 AM
Waymark Code: WM9044
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GT.US
Views: 0

Long Description:
From wikipedia: "Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757 – July 12, 1804) was the first United States Secretary of the Treasury, a Founding Father, economist, and political philosopher. Aide-de-camp to General George Washington during the American Revolutionary War, he was a leader of nationalist forces calling for a new Constitution; he was one of America's first Constitutional lawyers, and wrote most of the Federalist Papers, a primary source for Constitutional interpretation. He was the financial expert of Washington's administration; the Federalist Party formed to support his policies."

(visit link)
"In addition to donating the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain, philanthropist and art patron Kate Sturges Buckingham (1858 – 1937) commissioned a monument to the Alexander Hamilton (1757 – 1804) whom she considered “one of the least appreciated great Americans.” Miss Buckingham believed that as the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton had secured the nation’s financial future and made it possible for her own family to make its fortune in grain elevators and banking. She hired New York artist John Angel to model a figurative sculpture of Hamilton and the famous Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen to create a colossal architectural setting for the monument. Saarinen’s proposed 80-foot tall columned shelter was not well received, and by the time Kate Buckingham died in 1937, the sculpture’s setting and location were uncertain.

Several years passed, and executors of Buckingham’s estate and trustees for the monument were accused of conspiring to allow the project’s time limit to expire so that the money would revert to the Art Institute. After the courts ordered the construction to be completed by 1953, the trustees moved swiftly by hiring architect Samuel A. Marx to design a tall granite setting for the monument’s the newly selected Lincoln Park site. The trustees also decided to gild the bronze statue in gold. Marx’s 78-foot tall cantilevered granite exedra overwhelmed the sculpture. After engineering studies revealed that the sculpture’s architectural setting had structural design flaws, it was demolished in 1993. Today, the gilded Hamilton sits on the simple red granite base that was previously mounted to the modern exedra structure."

The Description from Smithsonian Arts Inventory database at (visit link)

"A standing figure of Alexander Hamilton is mounted on tall base which rests on a three-level plaza of limestone, slate and polished red and black granite. The back wall of the base soars up behind the sculpture, reflecting the back of the figure." no longer quite accurate since the 3-level plaza was demolished in 1993 once structural problems were discovered.

Also the inscription...

(On wall:) John Angel/Sculptor (On base:) Gift of/Kate Sturges buckingham/1858-1937/Erected 1952

...should only include the "On base" part since the wall is demolished.

The statue was cleaned and re-guilded for the Bicentennial in 1976. It still glistens in the sun, but could use another re-guilding.
Type of Memorial: Statue

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