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Straus Park

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Straus Park

Flowers and candles adorn the Isidor and Ida Straus Memorial on April 15, 2012, the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

Straus Park is a small landscaped park on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, at the intersection of Broadway, West End Avenue, and 106th Street.

The most notable feature is a bronze 1913 statue by American artist Augustus Lukeman of a nymph gazing over a calm expanse of water in memory of Ida and Isidor Straus, a United States congressman and co-owner of Macy’s, who perished on the RMS Titanic.[1][2] The model for the statue was Audrey Munson.[3]

On the memorial is carved a passage from Second Samuel 1:23, "Lovely and pleasant were they in their lives and in their death they were not parted." The reference is to Ida’s choice to stay with her beloved husband, Isidor, rather than get safely into a lifeboat.

The Strauses lived in a house at numbers 2747 Broadway, between 105th and 106th Street, one block south of the location of the memorial.

The park exists because a small triangle of land is formed where Broadway and West End Avenue merge. It was known as Schuyler Square when acquired by the city in 1895, and was renamed to Bloomingdale Square in 1907.[4]

Between 1995 and 1997, Straus Park was renovated and expanded to the west, by the addition of 15 feet of West End Avenue. An endowment established by the Straus family funded the transformation of a neglected reflecting pool in front of the sculpture into a planting bed. The Friends of Straus Park fund maintenance and the planting of seasonal flowers.[5][6]

Straus Park is mentioned in Andre Aciman's 2011 novel Eight White Nights.

See also

References

  1. ^ Gibberd, Ben (November 19, 2006). "Taking Refuge Beneath Memory’s Gaze". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  2. ^ Magnet, Myron "The Monument They Deserve". City Journal. Spring 2002
  3. ^ "American Venus: The Extraordinary Life of Audrey Munson Model and Muse" by Diane Rozas and Anita Bourne Gottehrer, 1999
  4. ^ "Straus Park". NYC Parks. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  5. ^ "Morningside Heights". Morningside-Heights.net. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
  6. ^ McCaffrey, Jen (April 30, 2000). "Small Park Acquires an Angel Who Cleans Up, and Sings". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 

External links

  • Audrey Munson website photos
  • Friends of Straus Park Newsletter
  • An illustrated excerpt of André Aciman’s essay Shadow Cities, about Straus Park

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