On July 19, 2011 the Citywide Monuments Conservation Program wrapped up its 44th sculpture conservation—a head-to-hoof treatment of the bronze equestrian statue of Civil War General Franz Sigel (1824-1902) that stands proudly above the 106th Street entrance to Riverside Park. Sigel was born in Germany in 1824. After leading the unsuccessful revolution of 1848, he fled and settled in 1852 in New York City. Here, he focused his energy on education and journalism, teaching in New York City public schools and writing for the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung and The New York Times. Later, in the Civil War, he attained the rank of major general in the Union Army and inspired throngs of German Americans to fight for the Union Army. Just after Sigel`s death, the eminent Austrian-born sculptor Karl Bitter was commissioned to create a commemorative sculpture. Besides the Sigel portait, Bitter crafted monuments of other foreign-born American military heroes, including statues of the Marquis de Lafayette and Baron Von Steuben, as well as the much-loved Pomona sculpture in front of the Plaza Hotel. Sigel`s bronze effigy was unveiled in 1907 and stands at the apex of a monumental granite pedestal.

Installed, 1904