Difference between revisions of "Lee Park"

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[[File:LeeStatue.jpg|300px|thumb|right|Statue of Robert Edward Lee mounted on Traveler, bronze on granite pedestal]]
#REDIRECT [[Market Street Park]]
'''Lee Park''' is a [[Charlottesville Department of Parks and Recreation|Charlottesville City Park]], centrally located in downtown Charlottesville.  A large equestrian monument of Robert Edward Lee mounted on his horse Traveler, by Leo Lentelli (1879-1961), is the focal point of the park. The statue is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.<ref>National Register of Historic Places id #64500682, Four Monumental Figurative Outdoor Sculptures in Charlottesville</ref> Surrounding the statue are xeriscape garden plantings, and ornamental trees including a weeping cherry and dogwoods.
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]].
==History of park and statue donation==
[[Paul Goodloe McIntire]] assembled several parcels of land, knocked down existing buildings, and then deeded the land as Lee Park to the city in 1917 specifically in order to erect the statue of Lee; he donated the completed statue seven years later in 1924.<ref name = Kulthau>Robert Kuhlthau, Preliminary Notes on the Robert E. Lee Statue, 20 September 1995, (on deposit Albemarle Historical Society, Monuments file).</ref> 
An artist recommended to McIntire by celebrated American sculptor Daniel Chester French, Henry M. Shrady, created the original conception of the statue.<ref name = Kulthau/>  But Shrady died before casting it.  His last words were “keep the canvas wet-- keep the canvas wet."  His doctors and nurses thought he was delerious, but in fact he was entreating them to keep wet the canvas cover over his preliminary clay model of the Lee statue. Unfortunately over the next months the clay dried out, cracked, and the model was lost.<ref name = Kulthau/>
Shrady was replaced by artist Leo Lentelli, who patterned the design of the sculpture on 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.  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.  There was no inscription, other than the simple name Robert Edward Lee, because it was thought "any other wording or decoration would be superfluous."<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 Alderman 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.  And now, in this hour of reunion and reconciliation, we know how . . . he symbolized the future for us as it has come to pass, and bade us to live in it,  in liberal and lofty fashion, with hearts unspoiled by hate and eyes clear to see the deeds of a new and mightier day.”<ref name = Kulthau/> 
==Use of the park==
Lee Park is the venue for many of Charlottesville's annual festivals, such as the [[Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival]], [[Charlottesville Pride Community Network|Pride Celebration]], the [[Chocolate Festival]] hosted by the First Baptist Church, the [[Festival of Cultures]], the [[Tom Tom Founders Festival]], special events connected with the [[Dogwood Festival]], and the  Bow-wow walk hosted by the  [[Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA]].<ref>Park events
*[http://caspca.kintera.org/faf/help/helpEventInfo.asp?ievent=1155006&lis=1&kntae1155006=869D817B55914B71A764B4660E0A643B  Bow-wow walk, SPCA]
*[http://cvillepride.org/ Charlottesville Pride]
*[http://www.festivalofcultures.org/ Festival of Cultures]
*[http://www.cvillefirstunitedmethodist.org/chocolate/ Chocolate Festival (Baptist Church)]
*[http://www.cvillevegfest.org/#date Vegetarian Festival]</ref>
The park has also been the site of protests. The group [[Occupy Charlottesville]] began a protest campaign in mid-October 2011 which involved setting up tents. The city granted a series of permits allowing the occupation which 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 whether the city showed favoritism by allowing the group to stay in the park so long.<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>
==Controversy about moving statue==
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>
==Local Voices, Local History==
| '''VIDEO CREDITS''': Narrated by [[Preston Coiner]];<br> Graphic design: Jen Fleischer; Project Manager: Kristin Rourke.
==See also==
[[List of statues, monuments, and war memorials]]
==External links==
*[http://www.friendsofcvillemonuments.com/#help-save-cvilles-monuments Friends of C'ville Monuments]
*[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_E._Lee Robert E. Lee: Wikipedia]
*[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]
*[http://www.cvillevegfest.org/#date C'ville Vegetarian Festival]
*[http://cvillepride.org/annual-events/2015-pride-festival-performance-schedule/ Charlottesville Pride festival]
*[https://caspca.org/event/dogwood-festival-featuring-the-spca/ Charlottesville SPCA Dogwood Festival events]
[[Category: Charlottesville Parks]]
[[Category: 1918 establishments]]
[[Category:North Downtown]]

Latest revision as of 15:27, 9 September 2018

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