2. Simon Bolivar Monument (Venezuela)

The northern terminus of the Avenue of the Americas at Central Park is flanked by the statues of three South American revolutionaries. The first of these South American heroes to be honored was Simon Bolivar. In 1884, the people and Government of Venezuela gifted a statue of Bolivar to Central Park. The statue stood near 81st Street, on the west side of the park, on what became known as Bolivar Hill. The statue, designed by R. De Las Cora, was not well received and was removed from the park.

Simon Bolivar Statue Central ParkThe Original Statue of Simon Bolivar, Central Park via NYPL

In 1921, President Warren Harding presided over the dedication of a new statue of Bolivar on Bolivar Hill, designed by Sally James Farnham, whose work can also be found at Woodlawn Cemetery. With the creation of the Avenue of the Americas, the Venezuelan Government requested that the statue be moved to a more prominent and contextually appropriate location. Initially, the Art Commission denied this request, despite pressure from the State Department, and instead voted to improve the site where the statue was located. It took until 1951 for the statue to be moved to its current location, paid for by the Government of Venezuela.