Designed by sculptor Archimedes Giacomantonio (1905-1988) 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.
In 1950, the statue was placed on one of the traffic islands on the Journal Square Bridge across from the Loew's Jersey Theater. During the renovation of Journal Square, begun in 1998, the Columbus statue was moved to the pedestrian plaza at the southern entrance to the PATH Transportation Center.
Giacomantonio was born in Jersey City and attended Dickinson High School. He trained at the da Vinci Art School in New York and the Royal Academy in Rome, Italy.
Giacomantonio sculpted the statue of Abraham Lincoln "The Rail Splitter" (1925) for the lobby of Lincoln High School.. 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.
"23 Foot High Bronze Replica of Columbus Unveiled Here." Jersey Journal 16 October 1950.
Gomez, John. Legendary Locals of Jersey City. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2014.