New York Times Rates Daniel Chester French’s Lincoln as America’s Most Popular Statue

America’s Most Popular Statues

Photo:  Zach Gibson/The New York Times

One of most famous statues Statues honoring the Confederacy have gotten a lot of attention lately. But the statues that draw millions are largely monuments to freedom.

Published by The New York Times, August 23, 2017

By Shivani Vora

Three Confederate statues that the University of Texas at Austin removed this week are the latest in a string of Confederate statues being taken down around the country in the wake of the Charlottesville, Va., rally.

About 400 to 500 of these Confederate statues remain in the United States, according to Kevin R. C. Gutzman, a professor of history at Western Connecticut State University. And while they have received plenty attention recently, they are not the ones that draw the most visitors. In fact, quite a few popular statues are towering monuments to presidents and freedom.

We created a ranking of the five most popular statues in the United States based on data from three sources: Travelport, a United Kingdom-based travel technology and research firm, the National Park Service and TripAdvisor. None honor those who served in the Confederate effort to undo the United States. They’re simply an iconic part of America’s history.

1. The Lincoln Memorial

One of most famous statues in the country is linked to the Confederacy: the 19-foot-tall, 175-ton statue of President Lincoln, who tried to unite the United States during the Civil War and was assassinated by a Confederate sympathizer, sits in his memorial at the western end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The site drew 4.74 million visitors this July, according to the National Park Service and opened to the public in 1922. The acclaimed American sculptor Daniel Chester French designed Lincoln’s statue, which shows the 16th president of the United States overlooking the National Mall.

2. Mount Rushmore

This memorial, in Keystone, S.D., has four, 60-foot-tall statues depicting the faces of the United States presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Construction of their faces started in 1927, and the memorial opened to the public in 1941. A South Dakota historian, Doane Robinson, came up with the idea of carving the faces of famous people into the Black Hills to draw tourists to the area, and his plan seems to have worked: 1.46 million people visited Rushmore this July, according to the National Park Service. Visitors can walk the .6 mile long, 422-step Presidential Trail to get a close view of the four presidents.

3. The Statue of Liberty

A gift from the people of France to the United States, this 151-foot-tall copper statue (305 feet tall with the pedestal and foundation), was dedicated in October 1886 and is meant to be a symbol of freedom. The statue is on Liberty Island in the New York Harbor and can only be reached by boat; ferries to the island are available from Lower Manhattan and Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J. Visitors up for climbing the equivalent of 20 flights of stairs can go to the statue’s crown to see the Liberty Island Museum and views of the city. Data from the National Park Service shows that 2.6 million people visited the statue in July, and Travelport and TripAdvisor rank it as among the most popular tourist sites in the United States.

4. Christ of the Ozarks

A nonprofit, the Elna M. Smith Foundation, commissioned the American sculptor Adrian Forrette to design this 67-foot-tall sculpture of Jesus Christ, which is inspired by the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. Constructed of white mortar, mounted on a steel frame and welded into the side of Magnetic Mountain in Arkansas, the statue weighs two million pounds and officially opened to the public in June 1966. Because visiting the statue is free and doesn’t require a ticket, it’s hard to estimate how many annual visitors it attracts, but Carroll County, where the statue is, drew one million people in 2016, according to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.

5. Atlas

The 45-foot-tall bronze statue of the half-man, half-god Greek mythology figure Atlas is the largest sculpture at Rockefeller Center and depicts him holding a sphere above his shoulders. Two artists, Lee Lawrie and Rene Chambellan, conceived the idea for and designed the statue; the Art Deco style piece was unveiled in 1937 and weighs seven tons. Both TripAdvisor and Travelport rank Rockefeller Center as among the 10 most visited attractions in the United States.

For full article and images Click Here