Thatcher Memorial - Denver, CO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Outspoken1
N 39° 44.691 W 104° 57.410
13S E 503698 N 4399439
Quick Description: Impressive memorial and fountain donated by Banker Joseph Thatcher; often called the State of Colorado Fountain
Location: Colorado, United States
Date Posted: 3/9/2010 6:16:15 AM
Waymark Code: WM8BY2
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member condor1
Views: 5

Long Description:

This magnificent memorial had fallen into disrepair over the decades. There were electrical problems with the pumps for the fountain and the entire memorial needed cleaning and repair. When Denver was awarded the 2008 Democratic National Convention, money was found to clean and repair many Denver treasures; the Thatcher Memorial being one of them. The piece was cleaned, restored and repaired in 2008 just prior to the August convention.

Joseph Addison Thatcher was a very successful banker in Colorado's early history. He was President of First National Bank of Central City, from 1874 to 1880. In 1884 he founded Denver National Bank and served as president until 1913. He donated the Thatcher Memorial Fountain (also called the State of Colorado Fountain) fountain to the City of Denver that can still be found at City Park. The fountain was dedicated Sept. 14, 1918 at a cost of $100,000. For related articles see the Rocky Mountain News, Sept. 14, 1918, pg. 14; and the Denver Post, Sept. 14, 1918, pg. 10.

The sculptor was Lorado Zadoc Taft who to this day is best remembered for many of his fountains. The colossal central figure representing the state of Colorado is circled by three smaller figure groups representing the virtues of the state of Colorado: Loyalty, Learning and Love. The central figure is bronze and stands on a granite base; the figure groups are bronze and are set at the base of central figure, around a marble fountain. Fountain spouts are located between the three groups, with water falling into a circular pool around the whole sculptural group. The central figure is a robed woman holding the sword of state and shield of Colorado. Loyalty consists of a standing male figure of a knight, wearing armor and leaning upon his broadsword. On his proper left is the female figure of peace with an olive branch in her hand. On the knight's proper right is a helmet with laurels representing his past victories. Learning consists of a standing, robed, female figure, turning her head to her proper right towards a young boy. The boy looks at the woman while he leans his proper right elbow upon a closed book. On the woman's proper left is a young girl perched upon a pile of books while she writes upon a slate. Love depicts a female figure standing at center with a male on her proper left. The woman's eyes are lowered modestly. A small figure of cupid sits on the woman's proper left. The central figure is approx. H. 18 ft.; Base of central figure is approx. H. 9 ft.; the fountains basin is approx. 34 ft. in diameter. All of the figures are made of bronze; the base of central figure is Mt. Airy granite; the rest of the fountain is marble.

On front of base below central figure of Colorado is carved 'THE GIFT OF/JOSEPH ADDISON THATCHER/TO THE/CITY OF DENVER/1918'. On base below figure group representing loyalty is carved LOYALTY; on base below figure group representing learning is carved LEARNING; and on the base below figure group representing love is carved LOVE. (Excerpted from the Smithsonian Art Inventory Catalog.)

TITLE: Thatcher Memorial

ARTIST(S): Lorado Zadoc Taft

DATE: 9-14-1918

MEDIUM: Bronze, granite, marble


Direct Link to the Individual Listing in the Smithsonian Art Inventory: [Web Link]

Esplanade of Denver's City Park

As mentioned above, the entire memorial was cleaned, repaired and restored by August of 2008. Photos in the waymark gallery reflect the improved condition of the memorial.

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