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Great Moments in Richmond Statue History

The Maggie Walker memorial controversy is just the latest entry in a long, rich history.


1796 - Jean-Antoine Houdon’s “George Washington” is unveiled in the Capitol rotunda.

1850 - More GW: An equestrian statue of George Washington is dedicated in Capitol Square. Five years later, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson and George Mason statues are installed on its base, with Andrew Lewis, John Marshall and Thomas Nelson joining in 1867.

1890 - Monument Avenue gets its first monument with the Robert E. Lee statue by Frenchman Antonin Mercié. It isn’t Monument Avenue at the time, though. It’s simply a field west of town. Other Confederates soon join, including J.E.B. Stuart, Jefferson Davis, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Matthew Fontaine Maury.

1927 - At Byrd Park, a statue of Christopher Columbus by Richmonder Ferruccio Legnaioli is dedicated.

1955 - A female figure designed by sculptor Leo Friedlander, “Memory,” is dedicated at the Virginia War Memorial.

1959 - Edgar Allan Poe, by artist George Ruby, gets a statue in Capitol Square.

1973 - “Bojangles,” a tribute by Jack Witt to entertainer Bill Robinson, is dedicated at Leigh and Adams streets in Jackson Ward.

1985 - Paul DiPasquale’s “Connecticut” is installed at The Diamond.

1991 - The Richmond Public Art Commission is established.

1996 - DiPasquale’s statue of Arthur Ashe is dedicated on Monument Avenue.

2003 - A statue of Abraham Lincoln and his son, by David French, is dedicated at Tredegar Iron Works.

"Slavery Reconciliation Statue" - SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist
  • "Slavery Reconciliation Statue"

2007 - Stephan Broadbent’s “Slavery Reconciliation Statue” is installed at 15th and Main streets.

2008 - The Virginia Civil Rights Memorial, by sculptor Stanley Bleifeld, is placed in Capitol Square.

2010 - “Connecticut” is moved from The Diamond to the Lucky Strike Building.

2012 - Richmond gets its seventh public statue of Thomas Jefferson, this one designed by Ivan Schwartz. It’s placed in the underground extension of the Capitol.

2016 - For better exposure and care, a memorial honoring 28 Richmond police officers who died in the line of duty is relocated from Nina F. Abady Park to William Byrd Park at Trafford Road and Blanton Avenue.

Sept. 29, 2016 - A groundbreaking ceremony is held for a memorial to Maggie Walker, designed by sculptor Antonio Tobias Mendez. It will take shape at Brook Road, West Broad and Adams streets.

  • Ash Daniel