Damen Avenue Bridge Marquette Monument

Framed by a stylized, art deco influenced pylon that was once integrated into the former bridge’s architecture, a low relief bronze shows the ethereal figure of Pere Marquette, his hand outstretched to greet an American Indian warrior in a wooded, riverside setting. Marquette is wearing clerical robes, while the Indian, who salutes Marquette, is minimally covered to reveal his strong musculature.
Photo ©: Roger Deschner


Damen Avenue Bridge Marquette Monument




E.P. Seidel (1881-1954), based on a sketch by Thomas A. O'Shaughnessy (1870-1956)


2618 S. Damen


Standing apart from its harsh industrial surroundings, this sleekly linear and poetic relief sculpture of French explorer Pere Jacques Marquette (1673-1675) meeting an American Indian, was originally integrated into a bridge structure that has been replaced by a strictly utilitarian super bridge that is all road and no bridge. The bronze plaque with art deco ornamental flourishes, was executed by E.P. Seidel, based on a sketch by Thomas A. O'Shaughnessy, the gifted designer of many stained glass windows for Old St. Patrick's Cathedral. The inscription reads: “James Marquette, French priest of the Society of Jesus, on his mission to the Illinois Indians, spent here the winter of 1674-1675. His journal first brought to the world's attention the advantages of soil, climate and transportation facilities in the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes basin. – Erected by the City of Chicago – William Hale Thompson, Mayor – Michael J. Faherty, Pres. Board of Local Improvements – Anno Domini MCMXXX.”