By Carol Tannenhauser
Walking past the American Museum of Natural History, between 77th and 81st Streets on Central Park West, on Thursday afternoon, I noticed … nothing.
The large, dark-green, painted-plywood box is gone, and so is the statue that it once encased. Deemed “racist” by some in its depiction of Theodore Roosevelt in relation to his guides, who were Black and Native-American, the statue was removed in January 2022, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, after standing in that spot for more than 80 years.
In its place is a large plaque, reading:
IN HONOR OF
NEW YORK STATE’S 33RD GOVERNOR
THE NATION’S 26TH PRESIDENT
AWARDED NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT
AUTHOR AND NATURALIST
A man and his small son were looking at the plaque.
“There was a statue there,” I told the man, who was surprised and said “Really?”
The Museum’s facade looks as if it has been cleaned; it is sparkling and the plaza has a new, wide-open feeling.
Speaking of open, we are awaiting word from the Museum about when Theodore Roosevelt Park will be reopening. We will let you know.