Samuel Rea

  • Sculptor: Adolph A. Weinman
  • Dedicated: 1930
  • Medium and size: Bronze (10 feet), pedestal (approximately 3 feet)
  • Location: Entrance to 2 Penn Plaza, Seventh Avenue at 32nd Street. Standing at the top of the Seventh-Avenue stairs to Penn Station, turn right and go up 6 steps. Bear left to the front of the building that rises over Penn Station.
  • Subway: 1, 2, 3 to 34 Street - Penn Station

Sculpture at the Original Pennsylvania Station

As a companion piece to Samuel Rea, Weinmann created Alexander Cassatt. When Penn Station was demolished, the statue of Cassatt (another president of the Pennsylvania Railroad) was moved to his alma mater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, NY.

Penn Station 

Above: Either Rea or Cassatt in the original location, in a niche at Penn Station.

Day with 

Above: Day with an eagle, from the cornice of Penn Station.

Much of the sculptural decoration of Penn Station was hauled off to a dump in New Jersey when the station was demolished, but many pieces were later salvaged. The Brooklyn Museum has Night, the companion piece to Day (above). The 22 eagles from the cornice turn up at unexpected sites around the Tristate area. (See articles in Rail Fan & Railroad Magazine and Plac esnomore.)

Penn Station eagle

Above: Released into the wild: one of 2 eagles at the entrance to the New Jersey Botanical Garden.

Favorite Moments in the Rea Episode

I love the dramatic impact of the wrecking ball smashing the “Chattanooga Choo Choo” LP, and the charmingly old-fashioned PRR train chugging from New Jersey into Manhattan and then into Queens. The train’s run through Brooklyn is on track that was proposed but never laid.

Adolph A. Weinman

Weinman (1870-1952), a German, moved to the United States at age ten, studied at the Cooper Union, and trained with Philip Martiny, Augustus Saint Gaudens, and Daniel Chester French. One of his most notable works is General Alexander Macomb in Detroit; he also did the designs for the Walking Liberty half-dollar (minted 1916-1947) and the Winged Liberty (Mercury) dime (minted 1916-1945). (See Theodore Roosevelt on artists' designs for American coins.)

New York City has numerous works by Weinman.

  • Samuel Rea
  • Alexander Hamilton and De Witt Clinton at the Museum of the City of New York
  • Civic Fame, on the Municipal Building at Chambers St.
  • John Purroy Mitchel Memorial, Fifth Avenue at East 90th Street
  • Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument, Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
  • Mayor William Jay Gaynor, Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn

Cross References

Penn Station

Above: One last view of the old Penn Station.

Copyright (c) 2013 Dianne L. Durante