The Central New York area has been touched by so much history and our city fathers have commemorated that history with magnificent monuments that dot our cityscape and serve as landmarks for our community. The City of Utica has a great list of all Utica’s monuments on their website. I wanted to spotlight a few of them for you.
The Parkway Eagle sits high atop the hill overlooking Utica in Roscoe Conkling Park. The park is best known for being the home of the Utica Zoo and the Val Bialis Ski area. But head a little deeper into the park via either Steele Hill Road or Master Garden Road and you will be treated to the best view of Utica to be found anywhere. From the Eagle’s perch you’ll see the ski lift, the valley carved by the Mohawk river and the Adirondack foothills to the north. If you’ve never fallen in love with Central New York, one visit to see the view the Eagle sees every day should seal the deal.
Given Utica’s strong Italian heritage, a statue of Columbus is the perfect choice to adorn the Memorial Parkway in East Utica. The memorial was erected in 1952 by the local chapter of the Italian-American Society. The Columbus statue is near Mohawk Street midway on the Memorial Parkway between Genesee Street and Culver Ave.
Baron Von Steuben was a Prussian solider who assisted George Washington during the Revolutionary War. In return for his service, he was granted a tract of land in upstate New York and is the namesake of the town of Steuben, where his home and grave site are located. His importance to our county was solidified by Utica’s city fathers when they built the Memorial Parkway, they placed a statue of Baron Von Steuben right at the Parkway’s beginning at Oneida Street. Today, thousands of cars pass by the Baron daily as the Parkway at Genesee Street is Utica’s busiest intersection.
Utica’s Polish heritage is on display at the corner of Genesee and Eagle Streets just north of Oneida Square. That’s where you’ll find the monument to astronomer Nicolaus Kopernicus (intentionally spelled in that way to more closely resemble his Polish name), who first demonstrated that the Earth revolved around the sun.
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is located at Oneida Square at the intersection of Genesee, State and Plant streets in Utica. The monument was dedicated following the Civil War and served as a memorial to the residents of Utica and Oneida County who served in the conflict. The interesting fact about this landmark is the figure atop the statue is pointing due south to the battlefields of the Civil War. This monument may be moving to another location within Oneidia Square as the city is planning on building a traffic circle with the monument at its heart.
(Image from Flikr user dougtone, who’s got great images from all over New York in his photostream. Other photos by Eric Meier/Townsquare Media)
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