Statue of The Republic

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Statue of The Republic
2004-08-08 1580x2800 chicago republic.jpg
A one-third scale replica of The Republic, a centerpiece of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.
ArtistDaniel Chester French
Year1918 (replica of 1893 original)
Dimensions730 cm (24 ft)
LocationJackson Park, Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates41°46′46.6″N 87°34′47.7″W / 41.779611°N 87.579917°W / 41.779611; -87.579917Coordinates: 41°46′46.6″N 87°34′47.7″W / 41.779611°N 87.579917°W / 41.779611; -87.579917

The Statue of The Republic is a 24-foot-high (7.3 m) gilded bronze sculpture in Jackson Park, Chicago, Illinois by Daniel Chester French. The colossal original statue, a centerpiece of the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, was ordered to be destroyed by fire. The present statue is a smaller-scale replica, sculpted by the same artist, which was erected in 1918 in commemoration of both the 25th anniversary of the Exposition and the Illinois' statehood centennial. The statue is now located on the south end of the park at the intersection of East Hayes and South Richards Drive, adjacent the golf course and approximately where the exposition's Administration Building and Electricity Building once stood.[1] The statue was funded by the Benjamin Ferguson Fund,[2] which commissioned French to cast this recreation of the original 65-foot-tall (20 m) statue that stood on the grounds of the Exposition of 1893. Edith Minturn Stokes served as French's model for the original statue.[3] Henry Bacon, the architect of the Lincoln Memorial, designed the festooned pedestal for the replica statue.[4]

Daniel Chester French's original statue The Republic at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago, facing the Administration Building across the Great Basin. This version had a Phrygian cap draped on the staff.

The statue's right hand holds a globe, an eagle with wings spread perches on it. The other hand grasps a staff with a plaque that reads "liberty", partly obscured by an encircling laurel wreath. The original at the Exposition had a Phrygian cap on top of the staff. The original was only partly gilded (no gold on the exposed skin of the head, neck and arms), but the new version is completely gilded.[5]

The original statue for the Exposition, constructed in 1893, stood in front of the Court of Honor, inside the Great Basin (pool).[6][1] However, on August 27, 1896 the statue was destroyed by fire under the order of the park commissioners.[7] The current statue stands in the area between the exposition's Electricity and Administration Buildings[8] (both demolished after the exposition), now an intersection where Richards Drive joins Hayes Drive. One of two additional replicas of the statue stands in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

The statue is referred to by Chicago historians by the colloquial name of the "Golden Lady."[9] It was designated a Chicago Landmark on June 4, 2003.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Statue of The Republic". City of Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Landmarks Division. March 15, 2006. Archived from the original on December 26, 2008. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
  2. ^ Hermann, Andrew (August 9, 1991). "Public statues are lumberman's legacy to city". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved March 18, 2009.
  3. ^ Morrone, Francis (1997), "The Ghost of Monsieur Stokes", City Journal, New York: The Manhattan Institute (August), retrieved August 2, 2015
  4. ^ Ira J. Bach and Mary Lackritz Gray, A Guide to Chicago's Public Sculpture, Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press, 1983
  5. ^ "Jackson Park's The Republic". Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference.
  6. ^ Original photo
  7. ^ "Death of the Republic: The fiery end to the golden colossus of the 1893 World's Fair". The Wolrds Fair Chicago 1893.
  8. ^ "Overlay of modern roads". Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference. The new statue is in the northern triangle.
  9. ^ "Jackson Park". Encyclopedia of Chicago. Retrieved April 18, 2012.

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