Ezzard Charles Statue in Laurel Park

Join us as we create the world’s first interactive sculpture in Cincinnati; a statue of Ezzard Charles, a West End native and professional boxer, former World Heavyweight Champion and lifelong humanitarian.

Cincinnati Parks Foundation is proud to partner with:

 Activations unique to the Ezzard Charles statue include a mobile platform and programming embraced by the community. These activations will enhance the health, quality of life and wellness of Cincinnati’s historic West End neighborhood.

This project also supports itself and the greenspace surrounding Cincinnati’s beautiful Laurel Park. Laurel Park was established as a result of the construction of Union Terminal. Located along Ezzard Charles Drive, this crescent-shaped park is perfectly situated between several churches and schools.

About Ezzard Charles

Vintage photo of Ezzard Charles with neighborhood children.

There are few Queen City heroes like Ezzard Charles. Charles was a longtime resident of Cincinnati’s West End neighborhood, a Heavyweight Champion of the World, an entrepreneur, a community leader, and an all around Renaissance man. He fought in 38 matches over his boxing career, winning 33 of them. Twenty-one of his victories were by knockouts. Outside of the ring, Charles was a goodwill ambassador to the children and families living in Cincinnati’s West End. He provided vital mentoring and support in his community.

The Ezzard Charles Statue

Rendering of the Ezzard Charles statue in Laurel Park

To honor Charles’ legacy, the “Society of the Cincinnati Cobra” Committee was developed in 2016. In 2017, the Cincinnati Parks Foundation with support from Cincinnati Parks, the City’s Planning Commission, The West End Community Council, and Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses took on the Ezzard Charles Statue project officially.
Local artist John Hebenstreit is sculpting the 13-foot statue. Hebenstreit previously created the Black Brigade monument at the John G. & Phyllis W. Smale Riverfront Park. He is sculpting the statue at Taft’s Brewpourium live, so that Cincinnatians can view the progress in real-time.

 

If you would like to give a gift to support this project, please fill out the form below. For questions, please contact jennifer@cincinnatiparksfoundation.org.

 


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