I’ve driven by this statue 1,000 times; Santa Monica statue standing tall at the end of Wilshire Blvd, overlooking Santa Monica Bay (technically, she’s overlooking Wilshire Blvd. since her back is to the bay), but have never really stopped to appreciate her, nor have taken the time to understand her history (or the history of this area and how it came to be).
This 18′ art deco beauty was created in 1934 as a Public Works of Art Project by Eugene Morahan. The Federal Government presented her to the citizens of Santa Monica 81 years ago (times sure have changed, huh? I wonder when they’ll try to remove her from public lands under the guise of separation of church and state, but I digress).
I’ve never taken the time to understand the backstory of Santa Monica, other than I assumed it was named after Saint Monica (yep, Captain Obvious here). A quick Google search returned this article: http://santamonicahistory.org/santa-monica-history/ (definitely worth a read, below is an excerpt).
“In 1769, Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola was placed in command of an expedition in California. While Portola and his party rested in camp, some of the men hunted for a trail up the Coast. As the story goes it was hot and dusty as the little party walked over the pathless plain. They came to two springs of sparkling water below the shade of great sycamore trees. After drinking the cool water and resting in the shade, the little party agreed that this place should have a name. The day happened to be St. Monica’s day on the religious calendar, May 4; and as the springs reminded them of the tears St. Monica shed for her erring-son, Augustine, they called the area Santa Monica”.
Can you imagine buying all of Santa Monica land for only $55,000 in mid 1800s? That won’t even cover the parking meters and tickets the average resident receives today! 🙂 (no? Am I the only one?).
Enjoy – I would highly recommend reading up on the history of this area and how it came to be.
Shot with Canon 5DmkIII, 70-200 f/2.8L; f/2.8, 130mm, 1/125″, ISO 1600