|Photograph by Hedrich Blessing from the Archives of the Art Institute of Chicago.|
Samuel Marx designed the Alexander Hamilton Memorial in Chicago's Lincoln Park in 1953 as a set of abstract stone slabs juxtaposed with a statue of Hamilton supported on a cantilevered block of red granite. The origins of the commission could be found decades earlier with a bequest to the Art Institute of Chicago to erect a monument in his honor.
|Photograph by Hedrich Blessing from the Digital Archives of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.|
In the 1930s, philanthropist and art patron Kate Sturges Buckingham (1858 – 1937) decided Chicago deserved a monument to the country's first Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton (1757 – 1804). She considered Hamilton to be “one of the least appreciated great Americans.” She believed he was responsible for the nation's financial prosperity and made her family's fortune in banking and grain elevators possible.
|Photograph of original rendering by Eliel Saarinen at the Art Institute of Chicago by Flickr member chernobyl.skies.|
Eliel Saarinen design proposed creating a monumental framework 80 feet tall to surround the bronze statue created by the New York figurative sculptor John Angel toward fulfilling Kate Sturges Buckingham's conception. The collosal stripped classical exedra wasn't favorably received by the public and the project remained incomplete upon her death in 1937 without a site or setting firmly established.
On her death TIME magazine published the following brief obituary: