Bronze Top Hat Disappears from Abraham Lincoln Statue in Kentucky Park

A bronze top hat that has been part of a sculpture of former president Abraham Lincoln in Louisville's Waterfront Park has gone missing, sparking an investigation by the police.


The Disappearance of the Top Hat

For over a decade, a large bronze top hat has been positioned next to a majestic statue of Abraham Lincoln in Waterfront Park, Louisville. The hat had been securely bolted to the statue until it was recently reported missing, leading to an ongoing investigation by the police.

The sculptor of the statue, Ed Hamilton, was informed about the disappearance by the Waterfront Development Corporation on Saturday morning. The nonprofit organization expressed its disappointment over the incident occurring in such a revered space.

Hamilton took to social media to share the news, stating that someone had stolen the hat. He expressed his disbelief, remarking on the effort it must have taken to pry the bronze from its base.

Details About the Hat and the Statue

The hat, which measures about 2 feet in height and weighs roughly 40 pounds, was fastened to the rock in two places. Hamilton clarified that the statue of Lincoln, when including the rock he sits on, stands at 8 feet tall. If Lincoln were standing, he would tower over park goers at a height of 12 feet.

Hamilton was surprised by the disappearance of the hat, as the memorial area has been a tranquil and sacred space since its dedication in 2009. It has served as a popular spot for visitors to sit on the statue, take pictures, and meditate in its presence.

The Sculptor's Vision and Plans

Ed Hamilton is renowned for his public memorials, with notable works including a sculpture of Martin Luther King Jr. in Virginia and a tribute to Black soldiers and sailors from the Civil War in Washington, DC. The sculpture of Lincoln in Waterfront Park was created by Hamilton to commemorate the president's visit to Kentucky in the 1840s.

Hamilton aimed to make the memorial more personal and approachable, depicting Lincoln as a people person. He wanted visitors to imagine Lincoln greeting them and inviting them to sit and talk. The sculpture represents Lincoln's torment in witnessing slave-laden riverboats on the Ohio River during his time in Kentucky.

The Waterfront Park spokesperson stated that they are collaborating with Ed Hamilton to restore the memorial to its original state and appreciate the community's support. Hamilton hopes that the stolen top hat will be returned, but if not, he intends to replace it and ensure it is even more securely attached.