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The Puritan Statue - Springfield, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Charter Member neoc1
N 42° 06.179 W 072° 35.105
18T E 699680 N 4664032
Quick Description: The original sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens of Deacon Samuel Chapin, more commonly called The Puritan was relocated from Stearns Square to Merrick Park in Springfield, MA.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 7/18/2013 5:23:26 AM
Waymark Code: WMHK4Z
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 2

Long Description:

Chester W. Chapin acquired a fortune in the railroad business and later became a congressman from Massachusetts. In 1881, he commissioned the most famous American sculptor of the time, Augustus Saint-Gaudens to create a bronze statue of his ancestor Deacon Samuel Chapin (1595–1675), one of the three founders of the City of Springfield, MA.

Augustus Saint-Gaudens produced a startling and iconic bronze sculpture. A 12' figure of Samuel Chapin is depicted wearing large billowing cape while standing with a cane in his right hand and a large book under his left arm. The sculpture rests on a 5' high by 6' diameter ornate circular granite base designed by architect Sanford White. Three steps lead up to the base. The sculpture was cast at the Bureau Brothers foundry and dedicated on November 27, l887.

The statue proved to be very popular with the public. Saint-Gaudens then realized its profit potential and produced many versions of the statue that he entitled The Puritan. Today more than 25 copies of The Puritan are located in museums, art galleries, universities, and private collections.

The original location for this sculpture was a downtown park known as Stearns Square. This park was intended to be the showplace for the City of Springfield created by the dream team of architect Stanford White and sculptures by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The north end of the park had the Puritan statue, the south end has the Turtle Fountain also by Saint-Gaudens, and the center is a two sided marble bench so visitors can sit and view either end of the park. Soon thereafter, the park fell into disrepair. The Turtle Fountain ceased to work. Some turtles went missing and the others put into storage for safekeeping. In 1899, the statue of the Puritan was moved to a safer location in Merrick Park, a small plot of land near the Springfield Public Library on State Street.

The base of the original sculpture of the The Puritan is inscribed:

1595 Anno Domini 1675
Deacon Samuel Chapin
One Of The Founders Of Springfield

Original Location: N 42° 06.286 W 072° 35.484

How it was moved: Disassembled

Type of move: Inside City

Building Status: Public

Related Website: [Web Link]

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Metro2 visited The Puritan Statue - Springfield, MA 6/26/2010 Metro2 visited it