Chicago South: Bronzeville / Victory Monument – by Leonard Crunelle [sculptor] and John A. Nyden [architect].

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Victory Monument – by Leonard Crunelle [sculptor] and John A. Nyden [architect].

Location: 35th Street and King Drive

Erected: 1927 by the people of the State of Illinois, represented in the 54th General Assembly.

Date Designated a Chicago Landmark: September 9, 1998.

The structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places: April 30, 1986.

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Victory Monument

Victory Monument

 

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This structure was erected to honor the achievements of the Eighth Regiment of the Illinois National Guard, an African-American unit that served in France during World War I as part of the 370th U.S. Infantry ..

The bronze sculpture was made by Leonard Crunelle. He was born in France in a coal-mining town that was destroyed in World War I. He was a student of noted Chicago sculptor Lorado Taft. The granite column and architectural setting of the monument were a collaborative design of Crunelle and John Nyden, a Chicago architect.

The original granite and bronze monument was erected in 1927. It was dedicated on Armistice Day [November 11th] in 1928.

The soldier on top was added in 1936 and dedicated to all the Black soldiers who died in the war.

It first state-sponsored memorial to African-American veterans of World War I. The monument is the site of an annual Memorial Day ceremony.

The monument is a white granite shaft with four bronze relief panels, and on the top is sculpture of a soldier.
These are:
African-American Soldier Panel
Victory Panel
Columbia Panel
Honor Roll of the Dead
The doughboy.

 

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Victory Monument

African-American Soldier Panel / Victory Monument

 

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African-American Soldier Panel.
A bare chested African-American soldier of the 370th Infantry, standing with an eagle in front of him.

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Victory Monument

Victory Monument

 

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Victory Monument

Columbia Panel / Victory Monument

 

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Columbia Panel
Full-length Classically draped female figure with a helmet on her head.
In her left hand she holds a tablet on which is inscribed with the names of battles in which African-American soldiers fought.

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Victory Monument

Victory Panel / Victory Monument

 

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Victory Panel
Left full-length profile of a Classically draped African-American female figure representing motherhood.
In her hand she holds a branch symbolizing Victory.

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Victory Monument

Honor Roll of the Dead / Victory Monument

 

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Honor Roll of the Dead
Names of 137 members of the Eighth Infantry, Illinois National Guard, who lost their lives during World War I.

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Victory Monument

The doughboy ./ Victory Monument

 

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The doughboy.
The statue atop the monument was added in 1936. the soldier is carrying an American Springfield rifle and wearing the standard U.S. Army helmet of 1917-18. However, the men of the 370th Infantry would more likely have been carrying the French Label rifle and wearing the French “Adrian” helmet in the actions in which they were engaged.

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Victory Monument

The doughboy / Victory Monument

 

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Victory Monument

Victory Monument

 

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Victory Monument

Victory Monument

 

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Victory Monument

Details: African-American Soldier Panel. / Victory Monument

 

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Victory Monument

Details: African-American Soldier Panel. / Victory Monument

 

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Victory Monument

Details: African-American Soldier Panel. / Victory Monument

 

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RELATED LINKS

The King Drive Gateway Project.. click here..
Chicago, Public Art Bronzeville.. click here..
Chicago, Art by Location.. click here..

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