Frederick Douglass Memorial Provides Grand Entry to Harlem

The Frederick Douglass Memorial plaza includes an eight-foot tall statue (bronze), a water fountain wall and granite pavers and seating.

Harlem, NY—The Frederick Douglass Memorial is a grand tribute to the legendary orator and statesman that occupies an entire plaza and serves as a gateway to Harlem. Dedicated in September, it stands at the intersection of Central Park West, West 110th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard with the great abolitionist gazing uptown toward Harlem, symbolically north as if toward freedom. The Douglass statue is by Hungarian-born sculptor Gabriel Koren and the site and water fountain wall were designed by Algernon Miller.

All photos by Arts Observer

A constellation of stars including the Big Dipper and the North Star, the beacon that guided slaves on the Underground Railroad, are featured on the water fountain wall.

The plaza is surrounded by a wagon wheel fence that represents the “chariot that carried slaves home” and granite seating and paver patterns that reference shapes and motifs found on traditional African American quilts.

Fiber-optic lighting illuminates the constellation on the water fountain wall at night.

The circle at West 110 Street and Central Park West/Frederick Douglass Boulevard was named for legendary leader in 1950 and the memorial was finally dedicated on Sept. 20, 2011.

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