Peter Stuyvesant Statue Heads to The Beacon for Restoration On its Way Back to Bergen Square
The nearly 100-year-old statute of Peter Stuyvesant by famed sculptor J. Massey Rhind was on Friday delivered to The Beacon condominium complex as it continues its journey back to where it had previously stood for 97 years: Bergen Square.
The statue, which was removed from its location on Bergen Avenue in front of PS 11 in early 2010, will for now be housed in a building that is steeped in its own history — a former ambulance garage at what was then the Jersey City Medical Center. While there, the nearly 10-foot statue will be restored and held until a new base can be constructed for it. Fundraising will continue for the restoration and base building; to date the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy (JCLC) has raised more than $9,000 towards the effort as it continues to work with the city’s Division of Cultural Affairs and the Jersey City Historical Project.
“The statute of Peter Stuyvesant belongs in Bergen Square. Bergen Square was the very heart of the Dutch community of Bergen, the first permanent settlement in New Jersey,” JCLC president John Hallanan says in a statement. “That is why the statue was placed in Bergen Square in 1913 and why it should be returned there.”
The statue’s move to the Beacon was celebrated by city officials and preservationists alike, who have teamed up to help bring the piece back to its rightful home in the city’s oldest neighborhood. Stuyvesant governed the Dutch-held 17th-century colony of New Netherland from 1647 to 1664, during which time he founded the village of Bergen Square, which later grew into the centerpiece of Jersey City.
“The statue of Peter Stuyvesant is an important part of Jersey City’s history and pride,” Mayor Jerramiah Healy says in a statement. “Restoring the statue and returning it to its original location is vital to preserving our history.”