Dewey Arch

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Dewey Triumphal Arch and Colonnade
Dewey Arch, New York.jpg
The Dewey Arch as it appeared in 1900.
Coordinates 40°44.53′0″N 73°59.34′0″W / 40.74217°N 73.98900°W / 40.74217; -73.98900Coordinates: 40°44.53′0″N 73°59.34′0″W / 40.74217°N 73.98900°W / 40.74217; -73.98900
Location New York, New York
Designer Charles R. Lamb
Type Triumphal arch
Material Staff[1]
Length 70 feet (21 m)
Width 30 feet (9.1 m)
Height 85 feet (26 m)
Opening date September 1899
Dedicated to George Dewey
Dewey Arch 1900 Color.jpg

The Dewey Arch was a triumphal arch that stood from 1899 to 1900 at Madison Square in Manhattan, New York.[2][3] It had been erected for the parade in honor of Admiral George Dewey to celebrate his victory in the Battle of Manila Bay at the Philippines in 1898.[4]

In spring 1899, planning for the parade, which was scheduled for September, began. Architect Charles R. Lamb[5] found support for his idea of building a triumphal arch amongst the members of the National Sculpture Society, of which he also was a member. A committee of the society, comprising Lamb, Karl Bitter, Frederick W. Ruckstull, John Quincy Adams Ward, and John De Witt Warner,[6] proposed the construction of an arch to the city of New York, which approved these plans in July 1899.

With only about two months left, it was decided to build the arch and its colonnade in staff, a material that had been used for the temporary buildings of several World's Fairs. Modeled after the Arch of Titus in Rome,[4][6] the Dewey Arch was decorated with the works of 28 sculptors and topped by a large quadriga (done by Ward)[6] that showed four horses drawing a ship. At night, the arch was illuminated with electric light bulbs.[7]

After the parade on September 30, 1899, the arch quickly began to deteriorate. An attempt to raise money to have the arch rebuilt with more durable materials (as had been done for the arch in Washington Square Park) failed, and thus the arch was demolished in 1900.[3] The larger sculptures were sent to Charleston for an exhibit, and were destroyed afterward.[4]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Brody, David (2010-09-01). "Celebrating Empire". Visualizing American Empire: Orientalism and Imperialism in the Philippines. University Of Chicago Press. p. 133. 
  2. ^ Cusack, The Dewey Arch.
  3. ^ a b "Art and Artists", New York Times, December 30, 1900.
  4. ^ a b c Gray, Streetscapes...
  5. ^ Smithsonian, Scrapbook....
  6. ^ a b c Sharp p. 52f.
  7. ^ Nye, p. 51.

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