Plans are in the works to move a larger-than-life bronze statue of "the Great Emancipator" that is tucked away in Prospect Park back to its original, prominent location at nearby Grand Army Plaza.
The 10-foot-tall statue, the first in the Union to honor the 16th president, was dedicated in October 1869, just four years after Lincoln's assassination.
The sculpture, which depicts the president draped in a cape and reading from a book, originally stood in what used to be known simply as "the Plaza," an oval parcel of land outside the park's entrance on Eastern Parkway and Flatbush Avenue.
In 1896, it was moved out of the shadow of the eight-story tall Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch, Brooklyn's tribute to the Union troops who died in the Civil War, to the Concert Grove in the park.
In 1960, the Wollman ice-skating rink was built nearby and a chain-link fence was constructed, detracting from the statue, which sits on a 20-foot stone pedestal.
"For the last 50 years, Abe has been looking at a chain-link fence," said Eugene Patron, of the Prospect Park Alliance, which is spearheading the effort to move the statue.
"It's still in the works, but the idea is to bring him back to Grand Army Plaza."
"The location he was in is not deserving of such a historical statue and prominent figure in our history," said Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates. "I am happy that he is going to a more appropriate location."
Henry Kirke Brown's statue of Abraham Lincoln in Prospect Park Plaza, Brooklyn ca. 1880. In 1866, the War Fund Committee of the City of Brooklyn organized a $1.00 subscription for a memorial to President Lincoln (1809 -1865) who was assassinated the previous year. (Sterograph from Robert Dennis Collection, New York Public Library)
Henry Kirke Brown was one of the first American sculptors to cast his own bronzes. H
New nabe for old Abe