Hall of Fame for Great Americans, Bronx

4.6
#17 of 34 in Things to do in Bronx
Landmark · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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The Hall of Fame for Great Americans is an outdoor sculpture gallery located on the grounds of Bronx Community College (BCC) in the Bronx, New York City. It is the first such hall of fame in the United States. Built in 1901 as part of the University Heights campus of New York University (NYU), the structure was designed by architect Stanford White to conceal a retaining wall for the Gould Memorial Library. The hall commemorates 102 prominent citizens of the United States, selected by a board of electors and grouped into one of fifteen categories. The physical structure consists of a loggia with colonnades measuring 630 feet (190 m) long. The colonnades contain niches with plaques and 96 bronze portrait busts.

The philanthropist Helen Gould donated funds for the structure in 1900, and the Hall of Fame was formally dedicated on May 30, 1901. Soon after the Hall of Fame opened, it became a focal point for U.S. national pride. Originally, the hall only contained plaques honoring native-born U.S. citizens. The first bust was installed in 1907, and foreign-born citizens were inducted starting in 1915. The majority of the busts were sculpted between 1922 and 1930. Most of the busts dedicated between 1930 and 1970 were installed shortly after the elections of their respective honorees.

The Hall of Fame became part of BCC after NYU sold its Bronx campus to City University of New York in 1973. The last honorees were elected in 1976, and the Hall of Fame has largely fallen into obscurity since then. Four of the busts were never sculpted due to a lack of funding, while the remaining 98 busts started to decay over the years. Following periods of deterioration, BCC renovated the Hall of Fame several times in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. BCC removed two busts of Confederate generals following a controversy in 2017.
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Hall of Fame for Great Americans reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
38 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This landmark is a great place for parents or teachers to take a trip with the little ones. It has so many great Americans to learn about. Eli Whitney, Stanford White, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry... 
    This landmark is a great place for parents or teachers to take a trip with the little ones. It has so many great Americans to learn about. Eli Whitney, Stanford White, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry...  more »
  • This is a very unique place hidden on the Bronx Community College Campsus right off the Interstate 87 that you take after crossing the GW Bridge. It is free and you can just walk through it on your.....  more
    This is a very unique place hidden on the Bronx Community College Campsus right off the Interstate 87 that you take after crossing the GW Bridge. It is free and you can just walk through it on your.....  more »
Google
  • Nice place to see an institute that helps the next generation of the area.
  • Very nice historical presidential walk through.

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