The James Cardinal Gibbons Memorial Statue
Statue in 2008
James Cardinal Gibbons Memorial Statue is located in Washington, D.C.
James Cardinal Gibbons Memorial Statue
LocationReservation 309-G, 16th St. & Park Rd.NW., Washington, District of Columbia
Coordinates38°55′53″N 77°2′10.31″W / 38.93139°N 77.0361972°W / 38.93139; -77.0361972
Arealess than one acre
Built1932 (1932)
ArchitectLeo Lentelli
MPSMemorials in Washington, D.C.
NRHP reference No.07001051[1]
Added to NRHPOctober 11, 2007

The James Cardinal Gibbons Memorial Statue is a public artwork by Leo Lentelli, located at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart, 16th Street and Park Road Northwest, Washington, D.C.

The James Cardinal Gibbons Memorial Statue was originally surveyed as part of the Smithsonian's Save Outdoor Sculpture! survey in 1993.[2] It was listed with the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.


It is a bronze figure of James Gibbons seated, wearing cardinals robes. In his proper left hand he holds a cross which hangs from his neck. His proper right hand is raised as if giving a blessing. The base, which is made of granite and stands at H. 8 ft. x W. 10 ft., and weighs 2,500 lbs., has a relief of a shield topped with an ecclesiastical hat called a galero. The shield has the coat of arms of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore on the left, joined with the Cardinal's personal coat of arms on the right. Around the shield are rows of tassels that represent the ranks of clergy. In this case, 15 rows indicate Gibbons' rank as Cardinal.[citation needed]

The front of the base displays:


The rear of the base displays:


On the left side of the base is the artists name and the founders mark:



The James Cardinal Gibbons Memorial Statue was authorized by Congress and President Calvin Coolidge on April 23, 1928. The piece was commissioned by the Knights of Columbus and cost, at no expense to the United States, $35,998. The piece was unveiled on August 14, 1932.[3][4] John F. Connelly attended the dedication ceremony.[5]


The sculpture was installed to coincide with the Knights of Columbus' 50th anniversary. They chose to dedicate a sculpture on behalf of Gibbons because of his "preeminence as a great American". The sculpture was created in Lentelli's New York studio.[6]

On February 22, 2007, the Gibbons Memorial was declared a Washington, D.C., historic site and on October 11, 2007 it was added to the national register.[7]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Save Outdoor Sculptures! (1993). "The James Cardinal Gibbons Memorial Statue (sculpture)". SOS!. Smithsonian. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  3. ^ Knights of Columbus. "James Cardinal Gibbons Memorial Statue". Knights of Columbus Museum. Knights of Columbus. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  4. ^ National Park Service (2010). "Monuments, Statues and Memorials". Rock Creek Park. National Park Service. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
  5. ^ "Gibbons Council Meeting To Visit Washington". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 17 July 1932. Retrieved 6 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Religion: K. of C.'s 49th". U.S. Time Inc. 31 August 1931. Archived from the original on January 6, 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2010.
  7. ^ "DC Inventory of Historic Sites" (PDF). City of DC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 July 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2010.