The Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Monument commemorates Union Army soldiers and sailors who served in the American Civil War. It is located at 89th Street and Riverside Drive in Riverside Park in the Upper West Side of New York City.
First suggested in 1869 little was done to create the monument until 1893. In 1893, the New York State legislature established a Board of Commissioners for a monument to the soldiers and sailors who had served in the Union Army during the Civil War. Originally set to be built at fifty-ninth Street and Fifth Avenue then at Mount Tom (83rd Street & Riverside Drive) the project was delayed for many years because many organizations in the city could not agree on a site for the monument. When the final site was selected, the winning design for the monument had to be redesigned for the new site.
Ground was broken for the monument on September 21, 1900. Mr. Guggenheimer turned the first spadeful of dirt. About 200 people were present at the ground breaking ceremony. The first stone was laid in January 1901. On the cornerstone was a simple inscription saying that the monument was erected by the citizens of New York. It was finally dedicated on Memorial Day, 1902 with President Theodore Roosevelt officiating. During the dedication, the monument was unveiled following a parade of Civil War veterans up Riverside Drive. The memorial bears the simple inscription: "To the memory of the brave soldiers and sailors who saved the Union". The monument cost $300,000 to erect. Granite quarried from the Lacasse Quarry located at Derby, Orleans County, Vermont, was used in the construction.
The monument was designated a municipal landmark in 1976. The New York Landmark Commission designated the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument a state landmark in 2001.