Monument to the Maine

Monument to the Maine

Field review by the editors.

New York, New York

The warship USS Maine blew up in Havana Harbor in 1898, sparking the Spanish-American War. Fifteen years later this massive pile of a monument was dedicated as the official national memorial to the war.

It's so excessive, with over a dozen heroic-size allegorical figures, a fountain, and a gilded group of statues on top, that the whole sunken warship part of it is hard to spot. There's a romantically-embellished ship's prow that juts into the fountain (with what appears to be a naked boy on deck), and the names of all 266 dead sailors are inscribed on the pedestal. But the most Maine-centric part is hidden on the back side of the monument's towering pylon; a bronze plaque with a sad Lady Liberty watching the Maine sink into the sea. It was made, the plaque notes, from metal salvaged from the doomed ship.

The allegorical figure of Columbia at the top of the monument was sculpted by Atillio Piccirilli using the model Audrey Munson, who appears in numerous sculptures around New York. She was locked up in an insane asylum for 65 years and died in 1996.

Also see: U.S.S. Maine Anchor | Captain's Bathtub | Ventilator Cowl

Monument to the Maine

Columbus Circle, New York, NY
On the northeast side of Columbus Circle, at the entrance to Central Park, at the corner of W. 59th St. and Central Park W.
RA Rates:
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