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Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Sir Walter Raleigh, Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh

  • Type

    Sculpture

  • Subjects

    Historic Cultural Figures

  • Creator

    Bruno Lucchesi, Sculptor

  • City

    Raleigh

  • County

    Wake

  • Description

    The 11 foot statue of Sir Walter Raleigh presents the great figure with his left hand on his hip and his right arm holding his cape. The statue is placed on a square base. The City of Raleigh's namesake is known for being a writer, soldier, courtier, and explorer.

  • Custodian

    City of Raleigh and the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts

  • Dedication Date

    December 3, 1976

  • Decade

    1970s

  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.463240 , -78.384210 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "A Statue of Sir Walter Raleigh," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), January 16, 1884, 4 Link

      "Sir Walter Raleigh Statue Moved from Fayetteville Street," WRAL.com, April 3, 2005, (accessed January 18, 2012) Link

      "Sir Walter Raleigh Statue," in Hugh Morton Collection of Photographs & Films (P081), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Link

      "Sir Walter Raleigh," in North Carolina Postcard Collection (P052), North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Link

      "Sir Walter Statue to Return Downtown," WRAL.com, July 20, 2007, (accessed July 7, 2011) Link

      Buscher, Melissa. "Where's Walter? Statue of Raleigh's Namesake Stuck in Ohio," WRAL.com, January 5, 2007, (accessed January 18, 2012) Link

      McFarlane, Nancy. "Sir Walter Raleigh Statue," Blog of Councilor Nancy McFarlane, June 29, 2009, (accessed July 7, 2011) Link

      Waymarking.com. "Sir Walter Raleigh," (accessed January 18, 2012) Link

      Wood, Ernie. "Walter Welcomed With Reception," The News and Observer (Raleigh, NC), December 3, 1976

  • Public Site

    Yes

  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze

  • Sponsors

    Sir Walter Raleigh Commission

  • Monument Cost

    $45,000

  • Subject Notes

    Sir Walter Raleigh (c. 1552 – October 29, 1618) was a famed English writer, poet, soldier, courtier and explorer.

  • Controversies

    A conflict arose after the monument was removed from its original spot on the Fayetteville Street Mall to be cleaned in Cincinnati. At the time, the Fayetteville Street Mall construction began, and it was necessary to remove the statue during the construction work. Raleigh city officials were unsure where to relocate the monument. After about two years (April 2005-July 2007), the statue was returned to Raleigh, and the City decided to move the monument to a new location in front of the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

  • Location

    The statue is located across from Salisbury Street in front of the entrance to the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

  • Landscape

    The statue is located on a walkway near the entrance to the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts. A few small trees and bushes are located near the front of the monument.

  • Former Locations

    The statue was originally located on the Fayetteville Street Mall until April 3, 2005 when it was sent to Cincinnati for cleaning and the pedestrian mall turned into a place for free flowing traffic. The statue was renovated in Cincinnati for about a year and three months and was returned during the Raleigh Wide Open 2 celebration on July 22, 2007. When the Progress Energy Center for Performing Arts reopened in 2008, the statue was moved from the corner of South and Salisbury Street towards the entrance.

  • Approval Process

    The plan to build a monument began around 1901 when the Sir Walter Raleigh Commission began to collect funds for the project from schoolchildren who collected spare change to donate to the fund. The Raleigh Monument Commission had resolved to dedicate the monument before October 29, 1918, but due to unforeseen circumstances (financial difficulties during the Great Depression), the final efforts to create the monument did not actually occur until the 1970s. Unfortunately, much of the money collected for the monument was lost during the Great Depression and the Commission was left with $10,228. Interest in building the monument was renewed prior to the Bicentennial, and Bruno Lucchesi was commissioned to build the statue.

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