Difference between revisions of "Lee Park"

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'''Lee Park''' is a [[Charlottesville Department of Parks and Recreation|Charlottesville City Park]], centrally located in downtown Charlottesville.
#REDIRECT [[Market Street Park]]
The city's [[Charlottesville Comprehensive Plan|comprehensive plan]] classifies Lee Park as an 'urban' park.<ref name="compplan10">{{cite web|title=Charlottesville Comprehensive Plan, Chapter 10|url=http://www.charlottesville.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=8182|author=|work=|publisher=City of Charlottesville|location=Charlottesville, Virginia|publishdate=|accessdate=October 19, 2010}}</ref> The park is often used for festivals and music performances, and was the site of the Occupy Charlottesville protest.  The western side of the park is used as seating space for the [[Garage]].
[[Paul Goodloe McIntire]] deeded Lee Park to the city in 1917; he donated the completed statue of General Robert E. Lee seven years later in 1924.<ref name = Kulthau>Robert Kuhlthau, Preliminary Notes on the Robert E. Lee Statue, (date?) (on deposit Albemarle Historical Society, Monuments file).</ref> 
An artist recommended to McIntire by celebrated American sculptor Daniel Chester French, Henry Shrady, created the original conception of the statue.<ref name = Kulthau/>  But Shrady died before casting it.  His last words were “to keep the canvas moist”-- referring to the canvas cover over the Lee statue’s preliminary clay model. Unfortunately over the next months the clay dried out, cracked, and the model was lost.<ref name = Kulthau/>
Shady was replaced by artist Leo Lentelli, who largely replicated an existing memorial to Lee standing at Gettysburg.  Lentelli took pains with accuracy, including traveling to Richmond to measure Lee’s equipment "down to the galleons on the General’s sleeve.”<ref name = Kulthau/> 
The bronze was cast by Roman Bronze Works.  McIntire had hoped to use melted down Confederate cannons for the sake of sentiment, but there were none to be found in 1923.  The statue was too large to be shipped in one piece and had to be assembled onsite.<ref name = Kulthau/>  Walter D. Blair, architect, designed the granite pedestal for the statue.  McIntyre had suggested a dedication to his mother Catherine McIntire but it was omitted from the pedestal's final design.<ref name = Kulthau/> There was no inscription, other than the simple name Lee, because it was thought words were incapable of adding anything to the “glory and immortality of great soldiers.”<ref name = Kulthau/>   
The statue was unveiled at a ceremony May 21, 1924 by Mary Walker Lee, the three year old granddaughter of General Lee.  University of Virginia President Alderson made the speech of acceptance at the dedication ceremony, saying:
“Here it shall stand during the ages at the center of our lives, teaching, through the medium of beauty, the everlasting lesson of dignity and character, of valor and unselfish service . . .  in the majesty of his manner.  [We dedicate this memorial] in this hour of union and reconciliation, in liberal and lofty fashion, with hearts unspoiled by hate and eyes clear to see the deeds of a new . . . day”<ref name = Kulthau/> 
The statue of General Lee is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.<ref>National Register of Historic Places id #64500682, Four Monumental Figurative Outdoor Sculptures in Charlottesville</ref>
At the 2012 [[Virginia Festival of the Book]], City Councilor [[Kristin Szakos]] raised questions over whether the Robert E. Lee statue in the park should be removed out of a concern it celebrates the state's Confederate past.<ref>{{cite-progress|title=Historian talks Civil War as councilor wonders if statues should be torn down|url=http://www2.dailyprogress.com/news/2012/mar/22/historian-talks-civil-war-councilor-wonders-if-sta-ar-1787271/|author=Ted Strong|pageno=|printdate=March 23, 2012|publishdate=March 22, 2012|accessdate=March 29, 2012|cturl=}}</ref> The proposal was met with considerable backlash from the community, who view the statue as an important part of history.<ref>{{cite-progress|title=Szakos decries response to statue comments|url=http://www2.dailyprogress.com/news/2012/apr/02/szakos-decries-response-statue-comments-ar-1813702/|author=Graham Moomaw|pageno=|printdate=April 2, 2012|publishdate=|accessdate=August 22, 2012|cturl=}}</ref><ref>{{cite-progress|title=City's Civil War statues remind us of our past|url=http://www2.dailyprogress.com/news/2012/mar/27/citys-civil-war-statues-remind-us-our-past-ar-1795886/|author=Daily Progress|pageno=|printdate=|publishdate=March 27, 2012|accessdate=August 22, 2012|cturl=}}</ref> More recently, in March 2016 the issue of moving Confederate statues was revived.<ref>{{cite-progress|title=Debate over role of Charlottesville's Confederate statues reignites|url=http://Debate%20over%20role%20of%20Charlottesville's%20Confederate%20statues%20reignites%20-%20The%20Daily%20Progress_%20Local.html|author= Bryan McKenzie|pageno=|printdate=July 15, 2015|accessdate=March 22, 2016|cturl=}}</ref><ref>{{cite-progress|title=Movement afoot to remove Lee statue in Charlottesville|url=http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/movement-afoot-to-remove-lee-statue-in-charlottesville/article_7d5ab060-efc2-11e5-99e8-a7d1233a899b.html |author=Chris Suarez|pageno=|printdate=March 21, 2016|publishdate=March 22, 2016|accessdate=March 29, 2012|cturl=}}</ref>
==Occupy Charlottesville==
The group [[Occupy Charlottesville]] began a protest campaign in mid-October 2011 which involved setting up tents to establish a permanent presence in the park. The city granted a series of permits allowing the occupation to continue and the current permit expired on November 24, 2011.<ref>{{cite-progress|title=Occupiers face balancing act with some who've joined in|url=http://www2.dailyprogress.com/news/2011/nov/05/occupiers-face-balancing-act-some-whove-joined-ar-1438082/|author=Graham Moomaw|pageno=|printdate=|publishdate=November 5, 2011|accessdate=November 7, 2011|cturl=}}</ref> The ongoing occupation prompted questions from [[Jefferson Area Tea Party]] chair [[Carole Thorpe]] regarding whether the city showed favoritism by granting the group a permit.<ref>{{cite-cville|title=
Jefferson Area Tea Party chair suspicious of Councilor Brown comment|url=http://www.c-ville.com/Jefferson_Area_Tea_Party_chair_suspicious_of_Councilor_Brown_comment/|author=Brendan Fitzgerald|pageno=|printno=|printdate=|publishdate=October 18, 2011|accessdate=November 7, 2011}}</ref> The city evicted protestors on November 30, 2011 and 18 people were arrested.<ref>{{cite-progress|title=Officials hear 'death knell' of Occupy Charlottesville|url=http://www2.dailyprogress.com/news/2011/dec/01/officials-hear-death-knell-occupy-charlottesville-ar-1508259/|author=Graham Moomaw|pageno=|printdate=|publishdate=December 1, 2011|accessdate=December 5, 2011|cturl=}}</ref>
==Local Voices, Local History==
| '''VIDEO CREDITS''': Narrated by [[Preston Coiner]];<br> Graphic design: Jen Fleischer; Project Manager: Kristin Rourke.
==External links==
*[http://www.charlottesville.org/Index.aspx?page=354 Lee Park on City's website]
*[http://www.youtube.com/user/audiotourcville#p/u/4/0js1N8thujc Audio tour video]
[[Category: Charlottesville Parks]]
[[Category: 1918 establishments]]
[[Category:North Downtown]]

Latest revision as of 14:27, 9 September 2018

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