Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cleveland's Amazing and Moving Civil War Memorial

I will be doing a few posts on some of the major public art and architecture in Cleveland. We spent a lot of time in museums and also needed to tour neighborhoods, so I didn't take that many shots. Also, I'm really bad with a camera.

This monument in the heart of the city, was something I had in the back of my mind--low on the list of things to see. As we drove by- Jean and me both were like--Wow, this is something else.

Huge scale, formal Civil War memorials and statuary are a pretty common Victorian era response to this ghastly social drama. Ohio, played a central role in the war, contributing many of it's central figures like Sherman and tens of thousands of men.

Even so, this central tomb like vault surrounded by depictions of both soldiers and sailors--carries a huge dignified punch.

The back lit shots don't really do this justice.

"The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument commemorates the American Civil War; it consists of a 125' column surrounded at its base by a Memorial Room and esplanade. The column, topped with a statue of the Goddess of Freedom, defended by the Shield of Liberty, signifies the essence of the Nation for which Cuyahoga County veterans were willing to and did give their lives. Four bronze groupings on the esplanade depict, in battle scenes, the Navy, Artillery, Infantry and Cavalry. Inside the Memorial Room are four bronze relief sculptures: Women's Soldiers' and Sailors' Aid Society, Beginning of the War in Ohio, Emancipation of the Slaves and End of the War at City Point, Va. , as well as busts of Gen. James Barnett and Architect/ Sculptor Levi T. Scofield, together with 6 officers, who were either killed in action, or died of disease or their wounds.

The column is made of polished black, Quincy stone with 6 foliated bronze bands listing the names of 30 battles in which soldiers from this County fought. The Memorial Room is constructed of rough finished, light gray granite and light brown Amherst sandstone; the esplanade and steps of Medina red sandstone."

"The Monument, managed by a bi-partisan Commission of 11 Trustees, is open daily, Monday through Saturday -9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, except on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years' Day."

Cleveland Soldiers and Sailors Monument website

Read more about the monument and recent restoration.

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