NEW YORK — A statue of Thomas Jefferson will be removed from the New York City Council’s chambers at City Hall, a commission voted on Monday.
During an hours-long hearing, the New York City Public Design Commission acknowledged the statue needs to be removed before the end of the year, however, a new location has yet to be determined.
There was much debate on whether the New-York Historical Society was the appropriate place for the statue, which has resided inside City Hall since 1833.
The City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian caucus has long objected to its presence because Jefferson wasn’t just a U.S. president or a founding father, he was also a lifelong slave owner.
Assemblymember Charles Barron and his wife, City Councilmember Inez Barron, led the fight to remove the statue. They want City Hall to memorialize people who better reflect New York’s history and diversity.
Ahead of the commission’s vote, Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams said he supports the statue’s removal. He said he hopes the Public Design Commission will consider “uplifting underrepresented faces and communities” at City Hall and elsewhere.
Republican challenger Curtis Sliwa said he wanted the Jefferson statue to stay and argued its removal would be a rewrite of history.