Our City’s Roots 5

City Transformation: Fulfilling our long-time callings

  • Pray for our city to be a place where, like General Palmer, the leaders live lives of integrity and where family-friendly arts and entertainment are available to all.

There are characteristics and callings for our city that have grown out of our earliest days.  This week we will be praying for God’s purposes in these “roots” of our city to be fulfilled.  Each day we will leverage the history of a downtown building to guide our prayers (Reference).

William Jackson Palmer Equestrian Statue
Intersection of North Nevada and East Platte Avenues.
Erected 1929 / Designers Nathan Potter and Chester French
No. 29

General Palmer Statue
This bronze equestrian statue portrays General William Jackson Palmer, the
city’s founder, astride his favorite horse, Diablo. The initial proposal to erect a
monument to honor the General was suggested by the Chamber of Commerce
following Palmer’s death in 1909, but it was not until April 1923 that city voters
approved the site by a vote of 3,151 to 871. At that time, Nevada and Platte
Avenues were the major north-south and east-west highways through the city.
The selection of the site sparked a controversy regarding automobile safety that
continues to prompt periodic calls for the statue’s relocation. Designed by
sculptor Nathan Potter, with his prominent associate Chester French, it was
formally dedicated on September 2, 1929.

General Palmer (1836-1909) was a Delaware native and member of the
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) who fought for the Union in the Civil
War and subsequently organized the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. In
addition to founding the City of Colorado Springs in 1871, he was active in
creating and funding improvements to the park system and numerous other
enterprises to develop the city.

The General, in civilian attire, faces southwest towards Pikes Peak. Critics
have noticed the saddle lacks a cinch; regardless, the General has remained in his
saddle since 1929. The cost of the $32,000 statue was raised privately. National
Register eligible.

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