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Trenton removes Christopher Columbus statue from namesake park

Columbus statue
P. Kenneth Burns/WHYY

Wednesday seemed like a normal day in Columbus Park in Trenton. People were walking through the park or enjoying the weather on benches. But the Christopher Columbus statue that had stood in the park for more than 60 years had been removed just that morning.

A group distributed food in front of the empty perch where the statue once stood as if nothing happened. The statue had been located on the edge of the historic Italian neighborhood of Chambersburg. 

The empty pedestal was noticed by a handful of people who were glad to see it go. “A statue? Is you serious? He definitely should not never had a statue,” said Eddie Bynes. “If that’s the case, we should put all criminals and violent offenders on statues.”

Trenton joins Camden and other cities around the country where Columbus statues have either been removed or torn down because of controversy surrounding his legacy in light of recent protests against racial inequality.

Philadelphia boxed in a Columbus statue in Marconi Plaza and plans to remove it. Bynes found out about the statue’s removal on Facebook and was amazed by how quickly the statue was gone. “I didn’t think it was gonna happen this fast,” he added, “I thought it was gonna need more work.” In a brief survey of people living or working near the park, WBGO's sister station WHYY did not find anyone upset by Mayor Reed Gusciora’s decision.