On This Day in History, April 13: Grand Army Plaza Becomes More Grand

April 13, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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On April 13, 1901, Frederick MacMonnies’ sculpture “Spirit of the American Navy” was installed on top of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch at Grand Army Plaza. It is one of three battle-themed sculptures by MacMonnies that adorns the arch, and was the last to be installed.

Although the sculptor was world famous and spent most of his time in France, he was actually a Brooklyn native, born on Pacific Street.

Among his other works are the statue of Nathan Hale in City Hall Park in Manhattan, “Truth” and “Beauty” in the New York Public Library’s façade, and the Marne Battle Monument, which he presented to France in exchange for the Statue of Liberty. In 1931, he designed the medal given to Charles Lindbergh upon his completion of the first solo trans-Atlantic flight.

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