NYC Hispanic Art and Landmarks
A Guide to Masterpieces and Monuments
Spanish War Memorial
The Spanish War Memorial, dedicated to the American soldiers from the Bronx who lost their lives during the Spanish American War, is a 31-foot tall granite column topped by a globe, at Graham Triangle, on the corner of 137th Street, Third Avenue, and Lincoln Avenue in the Bronx.
The column's pedestal has a plaque cast from the metal recovered from the U.S.S Maine, the American battleship that mysteriously exploded and sank in Havana Harbor and ignited U.S. involvement in the Cuba's War of Independence from Spain.
While in Cuba to protect American interests on the revolution-torn island, the Maine was sabotaged on February 15, 1898. The explosion killed 268 crew members. Since they failed to identify the cause of the explosion, the United states blamed Spain and declared war on April 25, 1898.
Less than four months later, the United States had defeated Spain and the Spanish American War came to an end with the Treaty of Paris, which allowed Cuba to gain its independence and forced Spain to give up Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States.
The engraving on the pedestal of the Spanish War Memorial notes that it is dedicated, "To the brave men of Bronx Borough who gave their lives for their country in the war with Spain." The bas-relief plaque, was created by sculptor Chrales Keck, is identical to the one at the USS Maine National Monument, on the southwest corner entrance to Central Park. It notes that the monument was erected "In Memoriam, U.S.S. Maine, Destroyed in Havana Harbor, February 15th 1898 - This tablet is cast from metal recovered from the U.S.S. Maine."
Erected in 1919, The Spanish War Memorial has stood on Grahman Triangle -- corner of 137th Street, Third Avenue, and Lincoln Avenue -- for almost a century.
By Maira Cardenas, Lehman College