Monday, September 28, 2009

Bronzeville - Victory Monument

Victory Monument
Address: 35th Street and King Drive
Erected: 1927 by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the 54th General Assembly ..
Bronze sculptures: Leonard Crunelle
Architect: John A. Nyden
Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: September 9, 1998 ..
The structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places: April 30, 1986 ..

This structure was erected to honor the achievements of the Eighth Regiment of the Illinois National Guard, an African-American unit that served in France during World War I as part of the 370th U.S. Infantry ..

The bronze sculpture was made by Leonard Crunelle. He was born in France in a coal-mining town that was destroyed in World War I. He was a student of noted Chicago sculptor Lorado Taft. The granite column and architectural setting of the monument were a collaborative design of Crunelle and John Nyden, a Chicago architect ..

The original granite and bronze monument was erected in 1927. It was dedicated on Armistice Day [November 11th] in 1928 .. The soldier on top was added in 1936 and dedicated to all the Black soldiers who died in the war. It first state-sponsored memorial to African-American veterans of World War I .. The monument is the site of an annual Memorial Day ceremony.

The information on this monument is from the Historical Marker Database .. .. click here ..

The monument is a white granite shaft with four bronze relief panels .. and on the top is sculpture of a soldier ..
These are:
# African-American Soldier Panel
# Victory Panel
# Columbia Panel
# Honor Roll of the Dead
# The doughboy

African-American Soldier Panel ..
A bare chested African-American soldier of the 370th Infantry, standing with an eagle in front of him ..

Columbia Panel ..
Full-length Classically draped female figure with a helmet on her head. In her left hand she holds a tablet on which is inscribed with the names of battles in which African-American soldiers fought.

Victory Panel ..
Left full-length profile of a Classically draped African-American female figure representing motherhood. In her hand she holds a branch symbolizing Victory ..

Honor Roll of the Dead ..
Names of 137 members of the Eighth Infantry, Illinois National Guard, who lost their lives during World War I

The doughboy .. The statue atop the monument was added in 1936 .. the soldier is carrying an American Springfield rifle and wearing the standard U.S. Army helmet of 1917-18. However, the men of the 370th Infantry would more likely have been carrying the French Label rifle and wearing the French "Adrian" helmet in the actions in which they were engaged.

To the south of the monument is a flagpole that flies three flags ...
United States flag,
Municipal Flag of Chicago,
POW/MIA flag.

Below are some details of the African-American Soldier Panel ..


Anonymous said...

i really liek the monument and this site does a great job at explaining its purpose and how it is thank you

Jyoti said...

I like it a lot too..
Thanks for writing!
Although I would appreciate a name with a comment.. Wonder why anonymous?

najamonline4u said...

That is a great granite bronze memorials. I loved the blog.