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Re: Hello may I join in? (Hawkins)
Sorry... accidentally sent this before it was complete.
The SECOND post has the whole reply.
Dinosaur Interplanetary Gazette wrote:
> Interestingly enough, the story most commonly told is that the some of the
> dinosaurs for the Central Park Exhibit were, in fact, constructed.
> Boss Tweed's political machine, however, had different ideas about how they
> wanted to spend the money allocated for the park. According to the common
> account, thugs were sent to destroy the (largely concrete) models. The pieces
> were then buried in a currently unknown location in Central Park.
> This is, in fact, the story (simply put) that I've heard for years.
> One can find it along with a reproduction of what the museum might have
> looked like at:
> I'd be particularly interested to know why the sources cited below don't
> believe that any of the dinosaurs were actually built and why, for the first
> time in my memory, the political finaglings are left totally out of the story.
> The following is a brief quote from a more extended account available at the
> above URL.
> "Hawkins came to the United States and established a workshop in Central Park
> to build the
> molds necessary to cast the prehistoric creatures. The museum was
> to be quite spectacular. An
> iron framework held up by columns was to cover a small park. In the
> park, replicas of two
> Hadrosaurs were to be shown under attack by the carnivorous
> LaeLaps. In a shallow lake the
> marine reptile Elasmosaurus would frolic. Extinct mammals,
> including mastodons, giant sloths,
> giant elk, and giant armadillos would also be featured. The price
> tag for the project was
> The project was well underway in 1870 when the notorious politician
> William "Boss" Tweed
> came to power in New York City. Finding no way he could profit via
> illegal kickbacks from the
> museum, Tweed determined to destroy it. He packed the park
> commission with his own people
> who then voted to put a stop to the project and destroy the
> foundations that had been laid.
> Hawkins persisted, however, and Tweed decided more drastic action
> was needed. A year later
> thugs, sent by Tweed, broke into the workshop and smashed the
> dinosaurs with sledge
> hammers. Later, they came back and did the same to Hawkins' molds
> and small scale models.
> Hawkins was shocked and disgusted with this episode and after a
> stint on the staff at Princeton
> University, returned to England. And so the Great Paleozoic Museum
> of Central Park became
> the museum that never was. "
> To many "fans" the holy grail of DinoArt is the discovery of the location of
> the smashed remains.
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