Designed by sculptor Archimedes Giacomontonio of Jersey City, the ten-foot bronze statue of Christopher Columbus mounted on a white marble shaft was dedicated on October 15, 1950. It has been described as showing Columbus "in a militant pose, holding a cross in his left hand and pointing westward with his right." The statue not only honors the explorer but also the Italian-American residents of Jersey City.
Giacomantonio was born in Jersey City in 1905 and attended Dickinson High School. He trained at the da Vinci Art School in New York and the Royal Academy in Rome, Italy. Giacomantonio also sculpted the statue of Abraham Lincoln "The Railsplitter" for the lobby of Lincoln High School in the 1930s. He maintained a studio in Jersey City at 194 Fairview Avenue. President Harry Truman commissioned the artist to sculpt a statuette of Woodrow Wilson for the Truman Library in Missouri. Giacomantonio later sculpted a bust of President Dwight D. Eisenhower for the military academy at West Point.
The statue of Columbus was originally located on one of the traffic islands on the Journal Square Bridge across from the Loew's Jersey Theater. As part of the renovation of Journal Square, begun in 1998, the statue was moved to a nearby site in the new pedestrian plaza at the southern entrance to the PATH Transportation Center.
"23 Foot High Bronze Replica of Columbus Unveiled Here." Jersey Journal 16 October 1950.