Bust of Fiorello LaGuardia

bust of LaGuardia
Courtesy of TheeErin on Flickr.

The central rotunda of the Marine Air Terminal preserves a bust of the airport’s namesake that was unveiled in 1964. The marble sculpture was installed on the 25th anniversary of the first scheduled flights at the airport. In attendance at the unveiling were Mayor Robert Wagner, Robert Moses, and others who worked closely with La Guardia to help his vision come to fruition. On December 2, 1939, La Guardia greeted the first flight into the airport at 12:01 a.m., which propelled the airport to oversee more than three million flights in the first 25 years alone.

Though Mayor La Guardia passed away in 1947, his wife Marie was also present at the unveiling. The sculpture stands eight feet tall and was created by Luis A. Sanguino. The bust focuses mainly on La Guardia’s head, with his right hand protruding from the marble block. The Barcelona-born sculptor also created a bronze sculpture now in Battery Park called The Immigrants that showcases the diversity of New York City.