Lives Remembered in the Statues and Monuments of Central Park

September 19, 2012 at 4:00 am

MetroFocus joins former NYC Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe in Central Park for a look at some of its famous and obscure statuary, from literary giants to storybook characters.

Central Park is one of the city’s crown jewels, and 29 statues are some of  the many gems set within it.  Some, like the Bethesda Fountain, are well known, and others, like the statue of poet Fitz-Greene Halleck (1790–1867), have fallen into obscurity despite their fine physical condition.  Adrian Benepe developed a unique perspective while serving for 10 years as the Parks Commissioner:  “There’s a constant parade of people wanting to put up statues and works of art in the park, and we say the park itself is a work of art.”  Nevertheless, history has decorated Central Park with the work of an impressive array of American sculptors, including August Saint-Gaudens, John Quincy Adams Ward and Daniel Chester French.  Meet rescue dog Balto and the rest on this tour with Adrian Benepe.

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The September episode of MetroFocus premieres Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. on WLIW, Sept. 20 at 8:30 p.m. on THIRTEEN, and Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. on NJ TV.

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MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Judy and Josh Weston, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Rosalind P. Walter, Jody and John Arnhold and the Metropolitan Media Fund. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America, your retirement company.

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