9. Owls, Two Blacksmiths and Minerva Watch Over It
When the New York Herald’s lease ended, its building’s ornate statues were removed and in 1940, when Herald Square underwent renovation, were given to the city and put on a pedestal in Herald Square.
The centerpiece figure in Herald Square is actually a monument dedicated to James Gordon Bennett Sr. and his son. The monument’s contents are quite interesting; it consists of large clock, a bronze figure of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and invention, as well as two blacksmiths ringing bells. This sculpture and clock once adorned the top of the Herald building.
Another fun fact: the two blacksmiths are named “Stuff and Guff,” and “Gog and Magog” (their biblical names).
The two, four-foot owls on the monument are also from the original Herald Building (there were originally twenty-six, which were to symbolize the wisdom of the newspaper’s stories). Discover more of NYC’s sculptural owls here.