We know that this photograph was taken on May 30, 1953.
Where is this statue located?
Were you a part of this dedication ceremony?
Please share more with us in the comments section below!
This Statue of Liberty was a gift to the people of the Canal Zone from a donor who gifted a number of other ones in the US It was located in the area just in front of the YMCA at the junction of the road to Fort Amador from 4th of July Avenue. As a newly minted Eagle Scout, I was honored on behalf of the Boy Scouts of America to take part in the presentation.. A big crowd was their that day to include Canal Zone officials and several high ranking military. I donated a picture of the attendees to the Museum a few years ago.
I believe the location was in front of the Balboa Police Station as that is the Police Station in the Back ground
At that time, as I remember, the Police Station was near the Balboa Clubhouse. It was only later that it moved to the YMCA building.
I can’t remember it during my era (BHS 1961). Was it removed at some point?
The statue was moved from another location to this grassy triangle, where Barnebey St merged into Balboa Ave and La Boca Rd. Balboa Police Station is shown in the background, with the YMCA behind it; a bank (Chase at the time) and the Knights of Columbus were behind the photographer.
I’ll defer to Peggy as to the location of the police station. I may have been thinking of the post office as the police station. Did Barnebey Street run down to 15th Naval district and Fort Amador? I don’t remember the statue as having been moved before the 1953 dedication. If I remember correctly, it was later moved to Fort Clayton and later to the ambassador’s residence. I have always been sorry that I never had a chance to return to “Paradise Lost’ after I left in 1953 to go to college.
Barnebey Street ended at Balboa Road. The street that went to 15th Naval District and Fort Amador was Amador Road, which branched off of Balboa Road between the YMCA and the Balboa Police Station.
Is this the same statue as of 1985 that was in front of the Balboa Fire Station and BHS? I had learned that this statue has moved around several times. In this picture, the YMCA is to the left and the Balboa Police Station is behind the statue.
You’re right. When Balboa Road was widened, the statue was moved
1. from the intersection of Balboa & La Boca Roads (in front of the Police Station that had been a restaurant in Days of Yore) to
2. the front of the Fire Station (on the grounds at the foot of the Administration Blg). Then
3. she was moved to Fort Clayton (near he post flagpole by Jarman Field, facing the street that runs to the front gate & Gaillard Hwy). And lastly,
4. she was moved to the grounds of the U.S. Ambassador’s residence in La Cresta, Panama City.
Thank you all for updating me on the statue and refreshing my memory. I still remember the dedication day as if it were yesterday. All my best to you all.
Thanks, Nina, for clearing up the relocation order. I had forgotten about her being over by the fire station; just remembered there was a relocation at some point.
To clarify the information that Nina Brown Kosik provided … specifically, between points number two and three, Lady Liberty didn’t just go from being in front of the Fire Station by the Balboa High School, to being relocated on display at Jarman Field on Fort Clayton.
When she was moved from the Balboa location by the Fire Station, a political decision was made to remove her from display for several years, because it was a time of political uneasiness. During this time, when the bust-sized statue of Balboa’s head was paint-bombed a couple of times (not just by rowdy high-schoolers, but also by people who had political motives), and acts of anti-American vandalism started to occur, it was decided to protect the Statue of Liberty replica, by putting her into storage and out-of-sight for a few years.
The reason for doing this was to protect the statue from being desecrated until political tensions subsided. Additionally, a separate issue was addressed in moving the statue from a property that was controlled by the Panama Canal Commission, to one that was administered by the U.S. Military. This decision directly impacted who would now become in charge of being the Guardian, or Custodian, of the artifact. So this was a further reason why it was decided to not just abruptly move the statue from Balboa to Fort Clayton … but to wait until political feelings of different persuasions would embrace the new location.
All parties agreed that the selection of Fort Clayton more fully met the requirement of selecting a place that offered more protection than the former two locations in Balboa, especially since the new Fort Clayton location was on an active duty military installation with military guards at the gate entrances, where access was restricted to holders of approved I.D. cards.
All of the above decisions (of previous ownership and guardianship) impacted the decision that I ultimately made, as Archivist of the U.S. Army South, and later, as Command Historian of U.S. Army South, during 1996-1999 period, when I was charged with deciding the dispositon of U.S. Army articacts, per Army Regulations, and training that I received at the U.S. National Archives.
Among the people that I met with were people who wanted to take the statue to the U.S., ones who wanted her to stay in Panama, members of the community who were connected to the Boy Scouts organization, and others.
As a trained archivist, my priority was to focus on protecting the statue for future generations, and deciding on a location where the statue was still connected to people from her past, which is why I ultimately recommended that the Statue of Liberty replica be sent to the U.S. ambassador’s residence in La Cresta, Bella Vista, Panama City, where she would be fully protected 24-hours a day, 365-days a year, and she can be appreciated by all admirers.
Stuart G.R. Warner W.
I was at the dedication ceremony as the senior Boy Scout in the CZ. As I remember, I accepted the statue on behalf of the Boy Scouts and the Canal Zone. Ten years ago or so. I sent to the museum an.8.5×11 inch picture of all the dignitaries who attended. Unfortunately, no one acknowledged receipt. C’est la vie.
Thanks Mom! For clearing that up!:)
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