This Month is Central Park Statue Month.

This month is Central Park Statue Month. Located around the Central Park Mall and its perimeter, are scattered many statues and monuments. While some have become well known such as the Angel of the Waters, Balto, Alice in Wonderland, many are often passed by without giving them a second look. This bust of Ludwig van Beethoven is one of them. It is located on the west side of the Mall, across from the Bandshell. It was donated to the park by a group of German-Americans. Olmsted and Vaux had hoped to prohibit statues or at least restrict and limit their presence throughout the park. Public pressure along with groups willing to pay for and donate statues gave way, with the first of these statues being donated in 1959. It was a bust of poet Johann von Schiller, which was the first piece of sculpture to be placed in the park. It was also donated by a German-American group. It was originally located in the Ramble and was moved and moved in 1953 to be near Beethoven in the Mall.

Before the Bandshell was built, there was a Victorian-era bandstand where concerts were played every weekend. These concerts were especially popular with the large and growing German-American community who gathered at the Mall. In 1884, on the occasion of its 25th Anniversary, the Beethoven Mannerchoir commissioned the monument to Beethoven at a cost of $6,000 and gave it to the city. The sculpture originally stood at the site of the Central Park Bandshell and was moved at the time of the band shell’s construction in 1923 to the western perimeter of the mall, where it now faces the stage. In 1992, the sculpture was repatined and conserved.

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