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The 1934 Fund - Preserve the Columbus Monument

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In 1934, thousands of Italian Americans donated their nickels and dimes to erect a monument in downtown Syracuse, celebrating their successful assimilation as US citizens. The effort was inclusive before it was fashionable, involving Native Americans, Irish Americans, and others. The Columbus Monument - completely restored by private donations and New York State in 1992 - has been celebrated each and every year since 1934, with a ceremony and a luncheon honoring a citizen of the community.

Ninety years after the effort began, the current mayor of Syracuse has demanded that the statue of Columbus come down, and that the site be re-dedicated.

The Columbus Monument Association has filed a lawsuit to stop this travesty. This gift from citizens to the community is artistically and historically significant. Removing it cancels our culture, erasing a tribute to the many early immigrants who helped  build our community, and our nation.  

Many of you have already contributed, for which we are deeply grateful. If you can find it in your heart to give $19 or $34 more, it will go a long way toward helping us defend this important art, history, and heritage.

  And please share this campaign with your friends!

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Our Proposed Solution

We propose keeping the statue, but creating a rotating display of conflicting, public art in an adjacent park, to highlight stories of other oppressed populations. This will be a point of pride for more recent immigrant groups, just as it was for Italians in 1934.   

By pairing the existing Columbus Monument with an ongoing series of conflicting artwork dealing with themes of oppression and exclusion, Syracuse would be confronting history rather than erasing history. The community would be educating rather than destroying. We believe we can model how to preserve history while still confronting modern realities. 

Your generous donations will first be used to block the mayor from removing this historic monument.  If we are successful, all remaining funds will be used to execute the conflicting art platform.

Your heartfelt contributions are critical to this effort, and every little bit helps! Thank you very much.



  • Stephen Lindenmayer
    • $175 
    • 1 d
  • Ross Prossner
    • $50 
    • 5 d
  • Stephen Lindenmayer
    • $100 
    • 5 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 8 mos
  • Diane Dwire
    • $100 
    • 8 mos

Fundraising team (9)

Richard C Pietrafesa Jr.
Syracuse, NY
Ginnie Lostumbo, Treasurer
Nick Pirro
Team member
Bob Gardino
Team member
Mark Nicotra
Team member
Carmine Federico
Team member

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