Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Governor Henry Horner Memorial


Governor Henry Horner Memorial, 1948
John David Brcin
Horner Park
South of West Montrose Avenue and east of North California Avenue

Located in the park that bears his name, this monument honors Henry Horner (1878–1940). A descendant of early Chicago pioneers, Horner was a reform-minded judge in the Cook County Probate Court from 1914 to 1932, and elected as the state’s first Jewish governor in 1932. He served until his death. He was remembered as: "Not only preaching but practicing 'good government,' he put the State's affairs on a sound, economical basis even while he expanded its service remarkably in welfare and charitable institutions."
In 1947, a Horner Memorial Commission was formed, with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carl Sandburg serving as chairman and other members including U.S. Senator James Slattery and Illinois Senator Abraham Lincoln Marovitz. To produce an appropriate monument, the commission conducted a long search before selecting John David Brcin (1899–1983), a Serbian immigrant who trained under Albin Polášek at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Originally unveiled in Grant Park between Congress Plaza and Van Buren Street in 1948, the monument was relocated in 1956 when the Chicago Park District completed construction of Horner Park. The red granite sculptural pylon is created in the Art Deco style. The double-sided monument features two stages of Henry Horner’s political career, as judge and Illinois governor. 

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