The Firemen’s Memorial at West 100th Street, designed by H. Van Buren Magonigle and sculpted in 1912 by Attilio Piccirilli, is a large marble slab surrounded by an approach of steps, two balustrades and allegorical figures representing Sacrifice (shown as a woman embracing the body of her dead husband) and Duty (shown as a mother standing by a fire hydrant, holding a fireman’s coat and hat and embracing a child). The slab supports a bas-relief of a fire chariot pulled by three galloping horses.
Sacrifice and Duty
We have monuments to ten men and one woman on horseback in New York, but only one monument to the horses themselves. A bronze memorial to the horses that pulled fire wagons is embedded in the walkway at the top of the steps.
Attilio Piccirilli was the foremost artisan in the famed Piccirilli sculpting family, which set up shop after the Piccirilli brothers immigrated from Italy in 1888 (he executed the Daniel French portrait of Lincoln at the Memorial) and he was on good terms with Enrico Caruso, Fiorello LaGuardia, and John D. Rockefeller. No less than three Presidents, Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson, paid a call to the Piccirilli Studios, which used to be in the Bronx’ Mott Haven.