Columbus Triangle Sculpture
“The City acquired this land on July 19, 1910, and since the 1920s Italian-Americans of Queens have gathered here to celebrate Columbus. The Board of Aldermen, on April 1, 1930, named the site for the famed explorer. The Italian Chamber of Commerce installed a bronze tablet here on October 12, 1937, indicating its intention to build a full monument to Columbus. In 1938, with funds from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Italian sculptor Angelo Racioppi was commissioned to create the seven foot tall bronze of a youthful Christopher Columbus standing in front of a ship’s tiller.
At the unveiling event on Columbus Day, 1941, master of ceremonies Alexander DelGiornio welcomed 5,000 people, including Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia and Borough President George U. Harvey, to the event organized by Nick Morisco. While the statue was complete, no funding existed for a stone base. Due to the recycling frenzy driven by the need to make weapons for World War II, residents feared that their pedestal-less statue might be scrapped, so they hid it in the basement of Queens Borough Hall. Raising the necessary money after the war, the monument was permanently installed at the apex of the triangle.”
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on March 3, 2014.
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