Preservation Issues

Conservancy Helps Preserve a Piece of Italian-American History

-Columbus Monument - 1915 (Museum of the City of New York)

November 2018

The Columbus Monument is now on the National Register of Historic Places, thanks to Conservancy research and work on behalf of the Columbus Citizens Foundation.

After some calls last year to move the 76-foot monument at the center of Columbus Circle, the Conservancy was engaged by the Foundation to nominate the monument for listing on the Register. The year-long project, which involved many hours of research and produced the 69-page Registration Form, was culminated on November 20 when the 125 year old monument was officially listed on the Register by the National Park Service. It was listed on the State Register of Historic Places this past September.

The Monument was conceived by Carlo Barsotti, owner and editor of Il Progresso, the first Italian-language daily newspaper in America and created by the sculptor Gaetano Russo. It was paid for by small donations from hundreds of working class Italian immigrants and presented as a gift to the City with the hope that posterity “will ever fondly and carefully cherish this splendid gift, and may it ever stand as a monument of lasting friendship between Italy and the United States.” It was unveiled October 12, 1892 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ trans-Atlantic voyage.