Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial

Put-in-Bay, South Bass Island, Lake Erie, Ohio

Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial commemorates Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, a decisive battle victory, and long-lasting peace between the United States and Great Britain. An abstract, yet classical, form such as a column serves as a fitting memorial to all three. The Perry Memorial is a 300-foot tall Doric column with an observation deck and ornamental bronze tripod; the entire structure reaches 352 feet above the Memorial's plaza. The column is made of pink granite so that against the blue of the lake and sky the column appears pure white. Visitors may take a one-minute elevator ride to the observation deck to gain a spectacular view of the lake and nearby islands.

A few attempts to build a memorial to Perry on Put-in-Bay and nearby Gibraltar Island occurred between 1852 and 1900, but none of the monument associations could sustain enthusiasm for the project. The Inter-State Board of the Perry's Victory Centennial Commissioners, formed in 1908, originally planned a large celebration for the centennial of the victory. With this support of the states surrounding the Great Lakes, the commission later decided to build a Memorial as a long-lasting tribute to the peace that followed Perry's victory in the Battle of Lake Erie.

In the national design competition, the National Commission of Fine Arts chose architect Joseph H. Freedlander's design for the Perry Memorial. The original design for the memorial included two other buildings: a museum and a colonnade with a stature of Perry. (There is no image of Perry adorning the memorial as it stands today.) Due to lack of money, Freedlander's full plan could not be carried out.

For information on other important aspects of Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, see its cultural geography (site specificity) and other commemorative practices that remember Commodore Perry and the Battle of Lake Erie.

Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial

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SEW, April 1998