4. Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva Statue (Brazil)
In 1951, Brazil offered its own contribution to the Avenue of the Americas, a statue of Jose Bonifacio de Andrada e Silva, who was also known as the patriarch of Brazilian independence. Mayor Impellitteri accepted the Brazilian statue, with the understanding that Brazil would pay for the entire cost of its construction and erection.
The Andrada statue was designed by Jose Otavio Correia Lima, a Brazilian Sculptor and made in Brazil. The nine foot tall bronze statue was unveiled in the northwest corner of Bryant Park in 1955, in the presence of Mayor Wagner, the Brazilian Ambassador, and Robert Moses. The invocation was delivered by Cardinal Spellman and the Brazilian and American national anthems were played by the Department of Sanitation band.
In 1959, two 400 watt floodlights were dedicated to light up the statue by the Avenue of the Americas Association. The great-great-grandsons of Andrada and William Cullen Bryant were both present.
But for the NYC Art Commission, Andrada’s statue might have languished in a Parks Department warehouse. When Bryant Park was remodeled in the late 1980s, the plan did not initially provide for a location for the statue. As a result, the Art Commission voted down the plan until a new site was given to the statue. Today, the statue can be found on the Avenue of the Americas between 40th and 41st streets.