NYC - Bryant Park - William Earl Dodge statue
This bronze sculpture depicts William Earl Dodge (1805–1883), one of the founders of Phelps, Dodge, a leading mining company. Dodge helped organize the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in the United States and served as the president of the National Temperance Society from 1865 to 1883. John Quincy Adams Ward (1830–1910) sculpted the piece, which was donated by a committee of Dodge’s friends and acquaintances and dedicated October 22, 1885.
Dodge is represented leaning on a podium while delivering a speech. The piece originally stood in Herald Square on a pedestal designed by Richard Morris Hunt (who designed the pedestal for the Statue of Liberty) until it was moved in 1941 to the northeast corner of Bryant Park, after the Bennett Memorial was installed at the square. The original Hunt-designed pedestal, discarded and replaced by the current granite base after the monument was moved from Herald Square, included a drinking fountain that commemorated Dodge’s commitment to temperance. The statue was renovated as part of an overall restoration of the park by the Bryant Park Restoration Corporation, completed in 1992.
Later referred to as “the Dean of American Sculptors,” Ward contributed nine sculptures to the parks of New York, among them Horace Greeley (1890) now in City Hall Park, Alexander Holley (1888) in Washington Square Park, Roscoe Conkling (1893) in Madison Square Park, Henry Ward Beecher (1891) in Columbus Park, Brooklyn, and The Indian Hunter (1869), William Shakespeare (1872), The Pilgrim (1885), and the Seventh Regiment Memorial (1874) in Central Park.