Governor Roswell P. Flower Monument, An Augustus Saint-Gaudens Work Of Art
Commissioned for $25,000 in 1900, the Roswell P. Flower Monument has stood on lower Washington Street with a presence that’s seen everything from blizzards, ice storms, world wars, urban renewal, buildings come and go and innumerable citizens gracing the streets and sidewalks of Watertown.
Roswell Pettibone Flower was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1882 and served as governor of New York from 1892-1893. The sculpture, which was commissioned by the Flower Memorial Commission on May 29, 1900 for $25,000, was funded through public subscription. Originally, the base of the sculpture was flanked by two large stone eagles, but they were removed in the spring of 1950 when the city decided to reconstruct the base. In the mid-1950s, the eagles were installed on the lawn of St. Joseph Cupertino Friary near Burrville, and subsequently ended up in Florida.
In 2002, a restoration effort formed by a group of small volunteers were able to not only coordinate the funding, mostly from the community itself, but surpass their initial $120,000 goal managing to replace the long-lost eagles as well. The Governor Roswell P. Flower Monument, upon its restoration, would be re-dedicated in a public ceremony in September, 2003.
For more information regarding the history of this monument and its restoration, please visit Friends of Saint-Gaudens.