Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday that New York City’s Central Park-adjacent monument to Christopher Columbus has been listed on the State Register of Historic Places by the New York State Board for Historic Preservation. Cuomo also recommended the 76-foot rostral column statue, erected in 1892 by the city’s Italian-American community, for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The statue was the subject of controversy earlier this year after violent white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, Virgina protested the city’s plan to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. Mayor Bill De Blasio announced the statue would remain, following a 90-day review of the city’s monuments by a mayoral advisory commission.
Italian-American groups have defended the statue, saying it has been a powerful inspiration and a unifying figure to help Italians overcome discrimination on American shores. Cuomo said in a press release, “The Columbus Monument is a powerful symbol of the Italian-American community and a testament to New York’s role in assimilating immigrants from all over the world in our state. This designation sends a strong message of the statue’s importance to our state’s history and how worthy it is of preservation so that future generations cans see it, appreciate it and learn from it.”
The statue was listed on the State Register on September 20, 2018–it joins the Statue of Liberty, Radio City Music Hall, the Empire State Building and Central Park–following a unanimous vote of the State Board for Historic Preservation. Shortly thereafter, a nomination by State Parks was forwarded to the National Park Service for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Proposal divides Columbus Circle into three zones: Conquest, Slavery, and Immigration
- De Blasio considering removal of Christopher Columbus statue near Central Park
- East Harlem statue of unethical M.D. should be the next ‘hero’ to fall, says community board
Neighborhoods : Central Park South