The American Issue sculpture, the newest Uptown landmark, was unveiled on June 15. The installation is prominently displayed in the newly renovated City Hall courtyard at 21 S. State Street, adding to this dynamic public gathering space in the heart of our city.
The unveiling of the sculpture signifies the 100-year anniversary of Westerville’s role in serving as the intellectual and logistical center for the passage of the 18th Amendment. If you’re not completely up-to-speed on your American history, the 18th Amendment was a constitutional change that prohibited the manufacture, sale or transportation of “intoxicating liquors” in the United States. And Westerville was central to its formation.
The amendment was championed by the Anti-Saloon League, which had moved to Westerville in 1909 due to the city’s “pro-temperance” reputation. “The American Issue”, a weekly publication published by the Anti-Saloon League, was printed in Westerville. Due to this, Westerville was known as the “Dry Capital of the World” for decades.
The sculpture was privately funded and donated to the City of Westerville this spring. According to the nationally-renowned artist and sculptor Matthew Gray Palmer, the sculpture “embodies the conflict between government regulation and individual freedom and celebrates the historical significance of Westerville as the home of the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
This is an exciting addition to our Uptown, helping preserve and recognize Westerville’s rich history - even on a national scale. Visit Uptown to marvel at this symbol of the historic complex nature of this social issue.
For more information, visit https://parks.westerville.org/programs/arts-and-culture/the-american-issue-sculpture.