The city of Cleveland definitely has some serious works of art to showcase, with statues and monuments that draw attention from would-be art lovers from every walk of life. Each statue, although different, has one thing in common, history. Each statue or monument has a story to tell. Both people visiting Cleveland and area residents may learn about Cleveland’s history just through the art. No matter which you are, be sure to see these pieces.
The Free Stamp
E. 9th and Lakeside
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
The Free Stamp was created by Coosje Van Bruggen and Claes Oldenburg. The current design of the stamp however, was not the original idea. The original thought for the statue was to be a self-inking stamp with a red handle. It would also have been big enough people could walk inside it. Obviously, this was not the end result. The word free was chosen as the stamp itself in honor of the United States itself.
Guardians of Traffic
These two statues are located on parallel sides of the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge. They are said to watch over traffic going east and west. They were created by sculptor Henry Hering and architect Frank Walker in 1932. However, they were named by Wilbur Watson. Each guardian holds a different vehicle in its hands. The vehicles they hold in their hands symbolize the progress of transportation in America, from stage coaches to cars. A local Cleveland group has even proposed having the statues lit up at night, like some of the other Cleveland bridges.
Jesse Owens Statue
W. 3rd and Lakeside
Jesse Owens is located in front of the Cleveland Browns Stadium, and near the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial. In life, Jesse Owens received ample awards and accomplished great feats. He became one of the most famous athletes in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He received four gold medals and set three world records. In 1976, President George Foreman presented Owens with the Medal of Freeman award. Owens died of lung cancer in 1980 at 66 years old, but, in 1990, George H.W. Bush awarded his name with the Congressional Gold Medal. Jesse Owens grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and now his statue is located in Huntington Park with an accompanying plaque that states, “Jesse Owens, Olympic Champion 1936.”
Soldiers and Sailors Monument
3 Public Square
This monument was built to commemorate the American Civil War. This statue differs from the others because anyone can go inside the statue, and admission is free. This monument is located at Public Square in downtown Cleveland, topped with the Goddess of Freedom. It also features an inside room of four bronze statues: Women’s Soldiers and Sailors Aid Society, beginning of the War of Ohio, emancipation of slaves, and officers that died in the war.
Alexander Hamilton Statue
1200 Ontario St.
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Alexander Hamilton is one of the twin sculptures on the entrance of the Cuyahoga County Courthouse, located in downtown Cleveland. This bronze statue was created by Karl Bitter. In this statue, Alexander is depicted holding a can and some papers in his left hand and holding his hat and cane in the right. Alexander graduated from Columbia University, which was back then known as King’s College in New York. He later became a constitutional lawyer and an assistant to George Washington. In addition to this, he also wrote the Federalist Papers, and was the United States’ first Secretary of Treasure.
Alexis De Leaver is a freelance writer covering all things Cleveland. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.