The Hans Christian Andersen Statue has been around since 1955 as a story time area for children featuring guest readers. Andersen is well known for his fairy tales such as The Ugly Duckling, Thumbelina, The Princess and the Pea and many others. He also wrote, The Little Mermaid that became a Disney movie in 1989. The statue was dedicated on September 18, 1956, by the Danish American Women’s Association. Many children from Danish and American backgrounds helped to raise funds to build the Hans Christian Andersen Statue. They raised about 75,000 dollars.
The Hans Christian Andersen
Statue was an idea from a Denmark native by the Baroness Alma Dahlerup. She later
became the president of the Danish-American Woman’s Association of New York.
Before the statue was built, the Baroness had worked on getting Andersen’s
fairytales read over the radio. Over the years, they worked on finding a place
for readings to occur for all ages. They were able to find the perfect site
with the help of the New York City Parks Commissioner, Robert Moses. The City Department of Parks and Recreation and the Central
Park Conservancy were all on board with this idea and gave their one hundred
With the help of both Denmark and American
school students, the project was able to make way by their many donations. The children
raised about 75,000 dollars. By 1954, the sculptor by the name of George Lober,
who was also Danish-American was commissioned to start the Hans Christian Andersen Statue. By 1955, the statue was
reveled on the authors 150th birthday. The statue is still an attraction
that is widely used today. Many guest readers come and read to all ages of
As time passed, the
statue not only became a place for children, it also became a symbol of good
relations between both Denmark and the United States. The royal family of
Demark still visit the Andersen Statue as a tradition that was started by Queen
Margrethe II parents. Which Queen Margrethe II visited in 1976.
Hans Christian Andersen
was born in Odense, Denmark on April 2, 1805. He grew up in a poor family and
dreamed of becoming rich at a young age. His father died when he was just a
mere boy of 11 years old. A few years later, at age 14, he left home for good.
Andersen decided to try his luck in Copenhagen, Denmark. He lived in the poor
part of town and got jobs such as an actor, a singer, and a dancer, but these
jobs did not have any success for him. At seventeen, Andersen was able to go
back to school. It took him seven years to complete school and as his victory,
he wrote his first narrative in 1828. This was a major success for him as a
writer and his life was just beginning as a writer.
By the time of his
death in 1874, not only was Andersen a well-known writer but he had written
over a hundred and fifty stories. Some of his most popular stories and
fairytales include The Ugly Duckling, The Emperor’s New Clothes, The Princess and the Pea, The Nightingale, The Red Shoes, The Match
Girl, Thumbelina, and The Little Mermaid.