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NYC - Herald Square: James Gordon Bennett Monument | by wallyg
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NYC - Herald Square: James Gordon Bennett Monument

The James Gordon Bennett Memorial, also referred to as the Bell Ringers Monument or Minerva and the Bell Ringers, located in Herald Square, north of 34th Street, was designed by Antonin Jean Carles. The original sculptural group was commissioned in 1894 by newspaper magnate James Gordon Bennett, Jr. and installed on the roof of the New York Herald's two-story Stanford White-designed headquarters on 35th Street and Sixth Avenue in 1895. The figures were saved from the building when demolished in 1921, and incorporated into the current memorial for Bennett in 1940 by architect Aymar Embury II.

 

The memorial consists of a 50-foot tall granite niche, flanked by pilasters supporting an entablature and attic with clock faces on the north and south sides. Standing in the niche is Minerva, or Athena, the goddess of wisdom, bearing a spear and shield. An owl, whose green eyes used to blink, is perched on top of a bell in front of her. Two bellringing blacksmiths known as stuff and Guff, rotate at the waist and appear to hit the bell with their heavy hammers. Their hammers stop three inches from the bell while a mallet hidden inside a box behind the bell actually strikes the hour. Two more owls sit on pillars flanking the southern entrance to the small park.

 

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Taken on February 1, 2007