Yesterday, I had a protective box placed over the Columbus Statue in Columbus Square in the Elmwood Neighborhood. My reason for doing so was to protect the statue from the upcoming construction that is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks. Upgrades will include new lighting in the park as well as other infrastructure upgrades.
As you may have learned, the protective box was vandalized late last night, but the Columbus statue remains intact. This statue has been vandalized in the past, and I have been steadfast in my support that it should remain in the neighborhood until residents are able to decide on the future of the statue. The City has formed a Special Committee on Commemorative Works which will be overseen by Providence’s Arts, Culture + Tourism Department in conjunction with the City Archivist, and I will be urging them and the Providence Parks Commission to address the community’s concerns around the Columbus Statue. I will also ensure that residents of the Elmwood neighborhood can be heard, and express what they believe should happen in their neighborhood.
The statue was a gift by the Gorham Manufacturing Company to the residents of the Elmwood neighborhood. Where many of the factory workers once lived and stands as a reminder to the residents of our past bustling manufacturing history.
The statue will remain protected in Columbus Square until all construction is completed.