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Branches of Baltimore History

Christopher Columbus Statue in Druid Hill Park

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Hanlon Drive at the northwest corner of Druid Lake (Street View)

GPS: 39° 19′ 9.60″ N 76° 38′ 30.60″ W

History

The first monument dedicated to Christopher Columbus in the United States is the 44 foot tall obelisk on Hartford Road, just east of Lake Montebello. The structure was erected, in 1792, to commemorate the three-hundred year anniversary of the explorer’s discovery of America. During the 19th century a local legend developed stating that the obelisk was actually a monument to a horse of the same name, not the explorer.

The Italian community refused to recognize the obelisk, eventually collecting funds and erecting their own statue on the shore of Druid Lake. On Columbus Day in 1892 the monument was unveiled. The sculpture, carved by Albert Weinert, is a reproduction of artist Achille Canessa’s original. In 1950, Mayor Thomas D’Alesandro, Jr. placed a wreath on the neglected Hartford Road monument, finally putting an end to misconception, and giving equal worth to both memorials.

Notes

A third monument to Chris Columbus stands in the Inner Harbor near the Katyn Memorial and the Public Works Museum. Professor Wayne Schaumburg of Johns Hopkins University states that Mayor William Schaefer planned to move the Weinert Columbus to the Harbor East location but the Druid Hill neighborhood committees protested strongly. Instead, a new statue was created and dedicated, in 1984, with President Reagan attending the ceremony.

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Written by monumentcity

May 11th, 2009 at 1:50 pm