Hartford, Connecticut is in the process of installing a series of 15 sculptures and statues dedicated to Abraham Lincoln along its riverfront. The above statue of Abe greeting Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (and a native of Hartford) is one of those statues which represent various events in Lincoln’s life.
The sculptures are meant to attract visitors to the riverfront in Hartford. Just a few years ago, the riverfront was run down and ridden with crime. But the area has seen a rebirth and is today visited by more than 900,000 people annually.
Just two of the pieces of art actually depict Lincoln. The others are abstract sculptures representing Lincoln’s support of the Transcontinental Railroad, his openness in meeting with people, and so on. The link I provided in the first paragraph contains a link to photos of the various works.
The sculpture walk would not have been possible without the generous financial support of the Lincoln Financial Group, the same company closing the famous Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Lincoln Financial donated $500,000 to the walk, to be not-so coincidentally called the Lincoln Financial Sculpture Walk at Riverfront. Why the company has chosen to support this project in Hartford while closing the museum in Indiana is anyone’s guess.
The walk is to be dedicated on June 18, 2008. Eventually, the city hopes to install another 30-40 sculptures along the waterfront.