Sunday, November 01, 2009

Doughboy Monument, Astoria

Doughboy Monument & Astoria-Megler Bridge


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A few old (2007-ish) photos of the "Doughboy Monument", the slightly odd World War I memorial out in Astoria, at the corner of Marine Drive & Columbia Avenue, just east of the Astoria-Megler Bridge. The slightly odd bit is the low building that forms the base of the statue. It doesn't seem to have any obvious purpose, but it does. Any guesses? No? Why, it's a public restroom, of course. Really, it is. It dates back to the 1920's, when there seems to have been a mania for adding public restrooms to various improbable things, like the Oregon City Bridge for instance. I've never seen a good explanation for this. Did people just drink a lot more water than they do today? Beats me.

Doughboy Monument, Astoria

Astoria, Oregon Daily Photo has a nice post about the monument, including the various inscriptions around it. Which is nice, since they're are too small to see in my photos. The author expands on that in "Astoria's Doughboy Monument: Finding an angle", in which she tries to figure out a good angle to shoot it from. Busy backgrounds in most directions, and wayyy too many overhead wires. I remember running into this problem too when I took the photos in this post, and thanks in advance for pretending you hadn't noticed.

Portland Public Art covers the doughboy here, calling it "dull and mechanical". Also a mention of it (and the sculptor's many similar works) at ~westr. (Scroll down to the "Soldier's Monument" bit.)

Doughboy Monument, Astoria

The statue on top is titled "Over the top at Cantigny", by the sculptor John Paulding. Cantigny is a small town in France, and the site of the first WWI battle involving US soldiers. The town now features a large memorial to US troops, and another smaller one outside of town. Among those who served at Cantigny was Col. Robert McCormick, later the right-wing owner of the Chicago Tribune. I mention this because he had a 500 acre estate outside Chicago (now a park), which he named "Cantigny". The battle also lent its name to an Army transport ship of the 1920's.

Doughboy Monument, Astoria

Doughboy Monument, Astoria

Doughboy Monument, Astoria

Doughboy Monument, Astoria

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