On October 14, 2003, Mayor Bloomberg, H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, Ambassador of Sweden to the United States Jan Eliasson, Consul General of Sweden in New York Olle Wästberg, thirty Nobel Prize Laureates, and numerous other government officials unveiled the first and only monument in the United States of America dedicated to American Nobel Prize winners. Its creation was the result of a partnership between the City of New York and the Consulate General of Sweden in New York.

Nobel Monument

The Nobel Monument has stood in Theodore Roosevelt Park, which is adjacent to the American Museum of Natural History. Its location is fitting since Roosevelt was the first American (and New Yorker) to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 1906. Its designers originally envisioned it near the Museum’s Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Wing, however, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission disapproved of that location arguing that the original design was too monumental for that location and it would block the view corridor to the museum.

Nobel Prize monument in NYC
NYC Parks / Daniel Avila

The Sivert Lindblom-designed obelisk is made of red Swedish granite and is topped by small bronze spheres. In addition to a bronze relief medallion, depicting Alfred Nobel, the monument states “[Alfred Nobel] Founder of the Nobel Prize, Swedish Inventor, Industrialist, Philanthropist and Humanist,” “Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Peace, Economics.”

A chronological list of the American recipients of the Nobel Prize is inscribed on the monument beginning on its western facade. In 2022, the latest American winners were added to the list. According to the NYC Parks Department, no other country has been home to as many Nobel recipients as the United States.

Next, check out The Top 12 Secrets of the American Museum of Natural History