The Hiker - Albany, NY
N 42° 39.485 W 073° 45.910
18T E 601206 N 4723585
Quick Description: This Spanish-American War memorial, titled "The Hiker", is located in Townsend Park in Albany, New York, USA.
Location: New York, United States
Date Posted: 11/5/2010 9:56:04 AM
Waymark Code: WMA29P
The sculpture depicts a Spanish-American war soldier in uniform standing with his left leg out in front of his right as though taking a long stride, with his upper body hunched in a crouching position. He holds his rifle in both hands with the left hand on the middle section of the rifle and his right hand near the trigger area. He wears a hat with a brim, a long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled to the elbows, and knee-high boots. Around his waist is an ammunition belt with both a knife and a canteen hanging from it.
The sculpture is mounted on a rectangular, stepped base. Inscriptions on the base: D.C. Lithcow (sic), Sc. (Top of base, incised letters:) (front:) CUBA (back:) HAWAII (one side:) PORTO RICO (other side:) PHILIPPINES (Bronze cross on front of base:) UNITED SPANISH WAR VETERANS 1898-1902 (Front of base, below cross:) ERECTED BY/THE CITY OF ALBANY/JULY 22, 1928/IN MEMORY OF THOSE/WHO SERVED THEIR/COUNTRY/IN THE/SPANISH AMERICAN WAR/-/WILLIAM S. HACKETT/JOHN BOYD THACHER 2nd/MAYORS signed.
Some additional information from the book titled Albany Architecture: A Guide to the City, by Diana S. Waite:
Spanish-American War Memorial
David C. Lithgow, sculptor
This striding soldier on a granite base at the west end of the park is the work of Albany artist David C. Lithgow. Better known as a painter and portraitist, he painted murals for the State Bank of Albany and St. Andrew's Society and at the old State Museum in the Education Building, where he painted the dramatic backgrounds for the Indian exhibits. A painting of Lithgow in his studio at 57 North Pearl Street is owned by the Albany Institute of History and Art.
Aside from the Parade Ground, such slivers of shade and lawn as Townsend Park were the city's only parkland before Washington Park was developed. The 1884 Albany City Handbook dryly commented that these little triangular parks throughout the city were "simply better than no parks." The handbook also noted that when Townsend Park was "first inclosed with a fence, in 1833, it was proposed to call it Washington Park and erect there a statue of The Father of his Country; but he escaped the honor." Instead banker John Townsend, who served as mayor in 1829-30 and 1832, was memoralized.