What I wore: Forever 21 Blouse & Skirt, Sam Edelman Sandals, Sunglass Warehouse Wayfarers, Bag from Francesca’s Collection
Where I wore it: The weather this weekend was beyond amazing. Saturday was not too hot, not too cold, sunny, a little breeze — a perfect day for Holliday Park.
Chris and I stopped at Fresh Market on the way and picked up some sparkling juice and snacks. We enjoyed these in the sun and spent the afternoon hiking the trails, sunbathing, and taking in the ruins. I know I said this last time we went there, but this park makes me feel like I’ m somewhere in Europe because of the ruins.
I’ve always been curious about what the ruins are from and where they came from, so I did a little research. Turns out they’re from the St. Paul Building in New York City. This building, which was New York’s first skyscraper, was designed by19th-century architectural sculptor Karl Bitter. Bitter also designed the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The three large statues atop the columns are known as the Races of Man, and these are made of Indiana limestone. They represent African American, Asian, and Caucasian races working together – on the original building they appeared to be holding the skyscraper on their backs.
When the St. Paul Building was going to be torn down in the 1950s to make room for a more modern skyscraper, the Western Electric Company held a competition to see which US city would get to house the statues. Needless to say, Holliday Park right here in Indianapolis won the competition. Indianapolis artist Elmer Taflinger designed a reproduction of the building’s facade to hold the Races of Man statues.
The artist, Taflinger, turned out to be a bit of a diva during the creation of the project. There was never enough funding for all his ideas to be implemented, and he was always trying to make changes and additions during the construction process. Over the years as other buildings were demolished, Taflinger changed the project’s plans to incorporate any and all salvageable pieces, including a horse trough from the Indianapolis Fountain Square monument, six Greek columns from the Sisters of Good Shepherd Convent, eight statues from the prior Marion County courthouse, columns from the Broadway Christian church, and part of an alter from St. Paul’s Church.
In 1976, Taflinger wanted to expand the project in honor of the Bicentennial Celebration. His idea, known as the Constitution Mall, symbolizes the American Republic. It includes a reflecting pool, lines of trees to represent each state of the union, 13 evergreens to represent the 13 original colonies, a large oak to represent Washington D.C., and slabs of Indiana limestone inscribed with the preamble to the constitution.
Over the years, a couple of the statues had to be removed as they deteriorated, the reflection pool can no longer hold water due to leaks, and some of the trees had to be replaced after a hard winter, but for the most part the park is just as it was in 1977.
So there’s your history lesson for the day. Who knew that right here in Indianapolis, we have such a slice of history?
Holliday Park history via HollidayPark.org