Unveiled on December 6th, 1915, the Joan of Arc Memorial monument was the first statue in New York City to honor a non-fictional woman.
The statue was commissioned by a group of prominent City residents who wanted to commemorate the French heroine’s 500th birthday. Cast by sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington, the life-size bronze statue presents Joan of Arc as both heroic and infused with naturalistic detail.
Architect John Van Pelt was hired to create a proper pedestal for the statue, and incorporated a few bits of real historical significance into it.
John Van Pelt made a granite base that contains actual stones from the cathedral in Rheims, where King Charles (who supported Joan’s fight before abandoning her) was crowned. He also incorporated real limestone blocks from the Tower of Rouen, where Joan was imprisoned and tried for heresy and witchcraft before being burned at the stake.
Check out the statue in person in Riverside Park at 93rd Street in the Upper West Side.