Simón Bolívar (1783-1830), born in Venezuela and one of South America’s greatest generals, was called El Liberator because of his victories over Spaniards winning independence from Bolivia (named after him). Dedicated in 1921, this statue depicts the general who has been referred to as the “George Washington of South America”.
The above photos of the monument are rightfully placed by the Artist’s Gate entrance by Central Park at 59th Street and Avenue of Americas. But this monument was not always located at this entrance way. The statue was originally sited on the rock between 82nd and 83rd Street overlooking Central Park West, where the Bolívar Hotel is located. But critics of the statue believed it did not live up to the original artistic vision and so it was subsequently moved. After Sixth Avenue was renamed Avenue of the Americas in 1945, the statue was relocated in the 1950’s to be paired with that of José de San Martín at the head of the avenue. The equestrian statue is made of bronze with the pedestal out of black granite.
I first spotted this statue in a cab on the way to Strawberry Fields, I’ve heard of Simón Bolívar but never knew there was a statue of him in New York City. It’s very respectable of the city to dedicate a monument to such a historic general. I really enjoyed the research I put into this assignment and it was a plus getting to roam around the city.