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Columbus Circle

Columbus Circle is a large roundabout, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in his 1857 vision for the park, which included a rotary on the southwest corner of the park. It lays just next to the Merchant gate.

It was originally known as just “The Circle” but got its name by the Christopher Columbus statue that got installed there in 1892. The monument is 76 – foot tall and was created by Gaetano Russo. It consists of a 14-foot marble monument of Columbus atop a large granite column. It is decorated with bronze reliefs of his three ships: the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa María. The pedestal features an angel holding a globe. It was installed on October 12, 1965.
The monument was part of the three monuments planned to be installed in 1892 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus' landing in the Americas. Its first location was planned to be Bowling Green or somewhere in Lower Manhattan, with the first location being. “Il Progresso”, a New York City-based Italian-language newspaper took up the cause to rais the required fund. They received donations from Italian American businessmen from all over States. It was officially unveiled on October 13, 1892, during the 400th-anniversary celebrations. Gen. L.P. di Cesnola, the Director of the Met, stated that “true monument is this great land, its institutions, its prosperity, its blessing, its lessons of advance for all humanity.”

And a fun fact to end on a higher note – Columbus Circle is considered New York City’s zero mile point.
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