Friday, December 28, 2007

Manhattan's Goddess of Pomona

Plaza Hotel
Originally uploaded by Hialean
To see a statue of the Goddess of Pomona in the City of Pomona, one needs to go inside the library downtown. There she stands, conveniently located near an ATM machine. There's also a statue of the Goddess of Pomona secreted away at either the Upland Museum downtown, or the Mission Inn Museum in Riverside.

Manhattan on the other hand, displays their Goddess of Pomona statue for everyone in their City and the world to see: high up on the Pulitizer fountain, across from the famed Plaza Hotel.

The story goes that newspaper man Pulitzer died in 1911 and left $50,000 for a fountain at the Plaza Hotel. The fountain was to be modeled after the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Austrian sculptor Karl Bitter (you'll find out why soon) was run over and killed by a car in New York the day he finished the clay model for the sculpture. This was especially sad, because he had dreamed of a fountain at that location for many years. His assistants ended up tweaking Bitter's model just a bit, mostly by increasing the size of the goddess.

The Pulitizer Fountain was unveiled in 1916. Rumor had it that some of the more conservative residents were shocked by the Goddess' lack of clothing. Poor Pomona, some folks will always think she's not good enough. Also present on the fountain fyi are horns of plenty.

During the holiday season, they add fir trees and additional lights to the fountain. During the rest of the year, the fountain is the backdrop to many a tourist photo, and lots of TV and movie scenes. Sex in the City's Mr. Big got engaged there.

The following movies have featured the Plaza Hotel: King of New York, Arthur, Barefoot in the park, Funy Girl and Eliose. I'm going to need to rewatch these movies to see if the Goddess of Pomona gets screen time in any of them. The fountain was also a midnight dip spot for Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

With all the talk of revitalizing our downtown, I'm thinking now might be the time to talk about bringing the Goddess of Pomona out of hiding and into a public, outdoor place. Or alternatively, commissioning a local artist to do a new sculpture (perhaps updated with a multicultural/Latina vibe). Anyone have any ideas for where to put the Goddess of Pomona sculpture? Off the top of my head: Garey Blvd., the Great Wall of Second Street? The abandoned gas station across from Stater Bros.?

Especially now that she has been dropped from the Los Angeles County seal, surely it's the right time for us to reclaim her as our own.



Anonymous said...

There was once a fountain in the plaza between the police department and City Hall. There was a lot of talk about restoring the fountain there.
This was several years ago. David Allen even wrote something about it and his doubts to see this idea come to fruition. It would have been nice to see the fountain restored and with it's own Goddess there...

Anonymous said...

There is no atm machine in the Library. It is a City of Pomona Kiosk.

CresceNet said...

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me said...

I stand corrected, anonymous! But, what is a City of Pomona Kiosk?

G of P

Anonymous said...

(not the same anonymous that left the kiosk comment:)

those kiosks offer information about the city. i don't remember but like with a touch screen. there is also one in city hall.

Anonymous said...

The other anonymous is correct. There is another one at city hall and there may be others at city parks. They do give city information and they do look like atm machines!

Anonymous said...

The goddess is already latina; she's Roman.

me said...

Well, I meant a non-Latin-speaking Latina, if that makes any sense. :)

When I was at the library the other day, I observed that the goddess statue there is indeed by a City of Pomona kiosk and what looked to be an Orange County job listing machine.

There was some debate in our family whether she was behind glass: Big and I said emphatically, "YES," grumpy husband said "NO." Turns out she is indeed behind glass. So sad.

G of P

calwatch said...

Turn the old, abandoned firehouse nee Don Jose kittycorner from Stater's into a park and put it there.

Anonymous said...

Wish someone would reopen the Firehouse Inn again instead of tearning it down to make a park?
Don't the drug dealers have enough parks already? The neighborhood really needs an upscale restaurant again.