Friday, December 28, 2007
Manhattan's Goddess of Pomona
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.