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Statue of Wendell Phillips

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Statue of Wendell Phillips
This statue of abolitionist Wendell Phillips was designed by Daniel Chester French and placed in the Boston Public Garden in 1914.

On the Lokashakti Network since:
Thursday, 28 July 2011

Year founded: 1914

Boston Public Garden
Boylston Street Mall
Boston, Massachusetts
United States

Type of network resource:
  • Public Art

Issues addressed:
  • Civil Rights / Civil Liberties
  • Prison Reform / Anti-torture
  • Self-determination


Statue of Wendell Phillips
This standing portrait of Wendell Phillips, designed by sculptor Daniel Chester French on a base designed by architect Henry Bacon, was cast in 1914 and dedicated in Boston Public Garden, along the Boylston Street Mall, on July 4, 1915. The City of Boston commissioned the 8-foot tall bronze sculpture and 12-foot high base and back wall for $20,000. Wendell Phillips (1811-1884) was the son of Boston's first mayor, John Phillips, and was an American abolitionist, advocate for Native Americans, and an ardent supporter of William Lloyd Garrison.

The Public Garden was established in 1837 and was the first public botanical garden in the United States. The twenty-four acre (97,000 m²) landscape, which was once a salt marsh, was designed by George V. Meacham. In 1859, an act by the Massachusetts General Court preserved the Public Garden as an open space.

Together with the Boston Common, these two parks form the northern terminus of the Emerald Necklace, a long string of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. While the Common is primarily unstructured open space, the Public Garden contains a lake and a large series of formal plantings that are maintained by the city and others and vary from season to season. During the warmer seasons, the four acre (16,000 m²) pond is usually the home of one or more swans and is always the site of the Swan Boats, a famous Boston tourist attraction.

Several statues are located throughout the Public Garden. Located at the Arlington Street gate is the equestrian statue of George Washington, which faces Commonwealth Avenue. A set of bronze statues based on the main characters from the children's story Make Way For Ducklings is located between the pond and the Charles and Beacon streets entrance. There is also a statute commemorating the first use of ether as an anesthetic.

The Public Garden is roughly rectangular in shape and is bounded on the south by Boylston Street, on the west by Arlington Street, and on the north by Beacon Street where it faces Beacon Hill. On its east side, Charles Street divides the Public Garden from the Common. The greenway connecting the Public Garden with the rest of the Emerald necklace is the strip of park that runs west down the center of Commonwealth Avenue towards the Back Bay Fens and the Muddy River.

Statue of Wendell Phillips – Map View

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