St. Louisans have heated debate over Christopher Columbus statue in Tower Grove Park

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ST. LOUIS – There’s controversy over the Christopher Columbus statue in Tower Grove Park.

Members of the community gathered in Tower Grove Park Saturday to discuss the statue of Christopher Columbus. It was erected in here in 1886.

Some see Christopher Columbus as an Italian explorer who ventured out to discover parts of the New World; others take issue with his treatment and exploitation of the native people.

Basmin, a St. Louis resident says, “Removal of the statue at least brings attention for people to understand some of the history and the knowledge that we’ve been separated from. What has occurred to indigenous people has been erased. They still exist. There’s actual history that is more accurate as to what occurred has not been taught. “

“I don’t want something that glorifies that process of colonization of this land we call America. There’s just no reason to glorify that and that’s with that statue represents to me and so I want to take the steps to see it’s addressed,” says organizer Chris Singer.

“It is important to educate people that he lived and that he played a part in history and we shouldn’t feel good about it,” says another man.

Tower Grove Park Executive Director Bill Reininger says the park is one of only 7 other parks in the country to have status as a national historic landmark because of its architecture, statues and other art.

He says, ” We have to really address that with caution as we move forward in the conversation. We are really proud of that designation, but we also want to make sure that everybody feels included and welcome to the park.”

He says around Columbus Day, for at last the past three years, the monument has been vandalized. He says they’re open to having a discussion about what should be done about the statue if anything.  They’re in the process of putting together an independent commission to talk about the issue.

“From there we’ll have some public hearings and opportunities for people to come in and make their voices heard about what they want us to do with the Columbus statue,” explains Megan Ellyia Green, Alderwoman of the 15th ward.

This process is still in its beginning phases. Park leaders don’t believe they’ll have a resolution by this Columbus Day since they hope to have a thoughtful discussion in the hopes of making the right decision on how to move forward.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News