Best equestrian statue (2008)

El Cid

Though Augustus Saint-Gardens's blazing gold-leafed vision of General William Tecumseh Sherman at Grand Army Plaza (beside the currently shrouded Plaza Hotel) is perhaps the best-known of the city's dozen horsey monuments, socialite-artist Anna Hyatt Huntington's stunning depiction of Spanish hero El Cid is the most truly triumphant. This grand bronze specter stands guard over Washington Heights' historic Audubon Terrace—an astounding mix of Beaux-Arts and neo-Renaissance buildings, developed by philanthropist Archer Milton Huntington (husband of Anna) and designed by Charles Pratt Huntington (Archer's prolific cousin), that is sited upon what was once an estate owned by naturalist John James Audubon. At the dawn of the 20th century, Archer established the Hispanic Society of America to promote the appreciation of Spanish culture; the Audubon Terrace complex, which opened in 1908, included a museum, public library, and other cultural institutions. Though this bastion of culture had crumbled almost to dust by the 1970s, most of the buildings are currently in various happy states of renovation, under the watchful eyes of the flamboyant El Cid Campeador. For more mounted history (herstory?), see Anna's statue of Joan of Arc, saint and martyr, at Riverside Drive and 93rd Street.

Location Details

322 W. 15th St.
New York NY 10011


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