Tracking The Muhlenburg Monument


"City Hall Plaza – Muhlenberg Statue, photographed January 10, 1913" | Philly History Blog

“City Hall Plaza – Muhlenberg Statue, photographed January 10, 1913” | Source: Philly History Blog

  • On the Philly History Blog, Ken Finkel looks back to the removal in 1918 of J. Otto Schweizer’s 1910 statue of Peter Muhlenberg from City Hall’s plazanoted at the time as “a favorite dumping ground for statues in the past.” Officially the move was necessitated by imminent construction work on the City Hall Broad Street Station, yet it was in concert with the public’s anti-Teutonic sentiment during the First World War. Knowing this, city officials toyed with the idea of plopping the monument along the road toward Hog Island to provide patriotic cues to the shipbuilders then fabricating a significant portion of the Arsenal of Democracy. But the Great War was to end a month after the removal, and Muhlenburg ended up across the street at Reyburn Plaza, and finally, behind the Art Museum.
About the author

Stephen Currall recently received his BA in history from Arcadia University. Before beginning doctoral studies, he is pursuing his interest in local history, specifically just how Philadelphians engage their vibrant past. Besides skimming through 18th century letters, Steve is also interested in music and travel.

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1 Comment

  1. There’s also a great monument to Peter’s father Henry Muhlenberg, the founder of the Lutheran church in Pennsylvania, at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Mt Airy.

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