A fifteen-year-effort to recognize 19th-century Philadelphia civil rights leader Octavius Catto came to a triumphant close last Tuesday, as a large crowd gathered to watch Mayor Jim Kenney and sculptor Branly Cadet officially unveil a memorial honoring Catto on the southwest apron of City Hall (video below). CVMNEXT performed the installation of the work with design and planning assistance from CVM. Site design was by OLIN, Urban Engineers and The Lighting Practice.
Entitled “A Quest for Parity,” the memorial consists of a 12-foot bronze statue of Catto standing in front of five granite pillars resembling trolley cars. In front of the Catto statue sits a stainless-steel ballot box. The opposite sides of the pillars contain biographical information for Catto. It is the first public monument to honor a specific African-American in the city of Philadelphia, and continues the redevelopment of the area surrounding City Hall. Completed in 2014 and designed by OLIN with structural engineering and waterproofing by CVM, Dilworth Park now occupies the west apron.