Garibaldi Uncovered!

From this...

to this

I’m not certain how long the statue of Mr. Giuseppe Garibaldi was covered in that somewhat atrocious bright blue cloak but, at some point, between when I posted about the status of Phase II on Friday and yesterday (Tuesday), he was uncloaked!

As for what happens next, according to Jonathan Kuhn, Director, Art & Antiquities, at the NYC Parks Department:

1) The Public Design Commission has approved all cleaning, patination, coating and restoration methodologies and procedures.

2) The contracted conservation firm performing this work plans to implement the work in the spring once the weather is cooperative and the mean temperature is adequate to conduct the work.

Good to know!

More on Garibaldi and his history from previous WSP Blog post from April 2010 when first relocated to new position: Washington Square Park’s Garibaldi Statue Moved!

p.s. Does it look like things are moving a little more swiftly? Yesterday, it sure seemed that way.

Washington Square Park’s Garibaldi Statue Moved!

Garibaldi Moved!

Garibaldi Old Location to Left

Garibaldi Original Location (Before Move)

The Giuseppe Garibaldi Statue at Washington Square Park was moved last week from its position facing west (looking toward the fountain, his back was to Washington Square East). The Garibaldi Statue was designed by Giovanni Turini and erected in 1888. It was refurbished once but not moved (hard to find info on that but there was a plaque outlining it at the Park – American Express financed it at the time).

Some background on the Garibaldi statue from Emily Kies Folpe in her book, It Happened on Washington Square below. Interesting note that Garibaldi was approached by Abraham Lincoln at the start of the Civil War to command a Union army corps. In response, one of Garibaldi’s stipulations was that Lincoln commit to abolishing slavery. This was not agreed to. Garibaldi declined.

The historic Italian presence around the Square accounts for the great bronze statue standing east of the fountain — the figure of Giuseppe Garibaldi, commander of the insurrectionary forces in Italy’s struggle for unification. Garibaldi was one of the greatest guerrilla generals in history and the most popular Italian patriot of his time. After fighting for Giuseppe Mazzini’s short-lived Roman Republic, he sought asylum in the United States where he lived for two years on Staten Island. Returning to his homeland in 1851, he led his red-shirted volunteer army on campaigns that helped bring about a unified Italy twenty years later.

At Garibaldi’s death in 1882, the Italo-Americano newspaper opened a subscription list to raise funds for a monument honoring the general. Public sculpture was one of the most popular art forms of the nineteenth century (more…)

Washington Square Park Redesign: Phase II — Photos

Fences Up SouthWest Side!

Fences Up SouthWest Side!

Where Do Old Benches Go To Die?

Where Do Old Benches Go To Die?

NorthEast Entrance Benches Gone

NorthEast Entrance Benches Gone

Performing Ftn Plaza by Fence

WSP Tree "Protection" Could Certainly be Improved

WSP Tree "Protection" Could Certainly be Improved

Soon to be Demolished Alcove SE Side (4 will Remain; 2 Removed)

Soon to be Demolished Alcove SE Side (4 will Remain; 2 Removed)

Park Closes 12 a.m.?

Park Closes 12 a.m.?

WSP Blog is taking a short hiatus until Monday, November 2nd (right before Election Day!) but there’s still a few posts lingering (more updated photos of the work, and some commentary) that I’ll post in the interim so check back!

Part I: Washington Square Park Late Last Week: Calm Before Construction (Taking a Last Look Before Phase II Fencing Arrives)

Fountain Plaza Looking East

Fountain Plaza Looking East

Entrance to Park on North(East) side, path being eliminated

Entrance to Park on NorthEast side being eliminated

Looking NorthEast

Looking NorthEast

Behind Garibaldi

Behind Garibaldi

Sparrows on Old Benches

Sparrows on Old Benches

Possibly the cutest squirrel

Possibly the cutest squirrel

The Park's Disrepair (Why did it get this bad?)

The Park's Disrepair (Why did it get this bad?)

Tucci Arrives

Tucci Arrives

Picnic Table View of the Fountain (this area soon to be gone)

Picnic Table View of the Fountain (this area soon to be gone)

Photos: Cat
More Photos to Come!

On the Performance Area in Phase II Redesign – “Garibaldi Plaza”

(Updated)

WSP Blog reader Elton wrote in yesterday with the following comment in relation to my post on the Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing last week. He raises some good points:

“Praise be to Commissioner Roberta Brandes Gratz for her stand in redirecting the Phase II design proposals toward stated community needs. Another community need I feel is getting very short shrift in Phase II is the PERFORMANCE STAGE. Its design and location should be restudied, especially in the light of potentially expanding long-range uses of the park, and in line with the recommendations envisioned by many park-use evaluations. For instance, in past seasons, attending musical performances at Teen Plaza, one must contend with competition from being seated in the middle of a crossroads, limited stage area, no accoustical baffles or wind (or even slight, provisional weather) protection, etc., and Phase II envisions even more compromised conditions. Why can’t a STATE OF THE ART PERFORMANCE STAGE be insisted on as a FOCUS and (geometric, if that’s the winning buzzword) FEATURE of that axis of the park, not a badly-served and watered-down afterthought? Wouldn’t this be an essential part of a long-range plan to underscore the park’s continued and expanding viability as a performance venue?”

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Thoughts?

WSP Blog Note: I can’t say I have a clear idea of what exactly is happening to the performance area, the here-to-fore (oops. I mean from here on) renamed Garibaldi Plaza, but I do know the Washington Square Music Festival stated that they were worried about sight lines, the size of the stage, the height of the stage, the fact that there is no railing, and no real back stage. While I think they could have argued more forcefully for what they want, the other side of this is, that, though they are well regarded and historically connected to the space, they only use the stage about five times a year. I’ve heard that other performers, such as “street” performers, may not want a railing although, for any body’s usage, the stage does seem too low. I gather people will be able to just sit on the stage and use that as a “public space.”

So… what is the “every day” use of this space? Will there be more professional performances – and which should the Park be oriented to? … Although I’m sure no matter how you slice it, this area’s design should be reconsidered.

Washington Square Park, Yesterday

Garibaldi in the Snow

Garibaldi in the Snow

WSP Snow People

WSP Snow People

The Arch, Fifth Avenue

The Arch, Fifth Avenue

These were taken with a cell phone camera so they are a bit, um, grainy, but you get the idea!