Being in a hotel so close to Central Park meant it was easy to spend lots of time going on little adventures there. There were a few main places we aimed to visit there and the Hans Christian Andersen statue was one of them.
This bronze statue was erected in 1956 to commemorate the Danish poet, novelist and children’s author’s 150th birthday. In 1930’s a campaign lead by the Danish American Women’s Association helped to encourage children to celebrate his birthday, with it gaining wide spread coverage on April 1st 1936 Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia instructed April 2nd to be Hans Christian Andersen Day.
In 1952, the DAWA formed a committee to investigate the chance of creating a statue in Central Park to help have a story telling centre for children. Despite no statues being added to the park for thirty years the statue was designed, and on June 4th the Park Commissioner gave his seal of approval to the statue. With the costs rising to $75,000 Danish and American school children helped to contribute to this. It now sits in the park just a few steps away from the Alice in Wonderland statue making it a delightful area to visit.
The statue which was sculpted by Georg John Lober, sadly in 1973 had its bronze cygnet was stolen. Dorothy Strelsin whose apartment looked down on the statue offered the money to replace the bronze ugly ducking but yet thankfully the piece was recovered and secured.
With it meant to be climbed on its no wonder the statue is such a lovely place for children both old and young to visit.