'Charging Bull' Won't Be Broad Street Bound, City Commission Rules

Department of Transportation rendering of "Charging Bull" facing south on Broad Street, one of several posssible orientations for the statue that was shown to the Public Design Commission. 

Jun. 24, 2020

Charging Bull is staying put, at least for now.

The Public Design Commission, the agency that reviews the siting of permanent art on city property, on Monday shot down a proposal by two other city agencies to move the 7,000-pound tourist attraction from Bowling Green to Broad Street, near the New York Stock Exchange.

The move, to be paid for by the Exchange, had been opposed by Community Board 1, nearby Broad Street residents, and the artist himself, Arturo Di Modica. 

The city Department of Transportation had cited safety concerns about the Bowling Green location for the bronze statue, where some visitors spill onto Broadway. And NYPD Counterterrorism officials warned that the site is a tempting target for terrorists. Much of the opposing testimony came from residents of 15 Broad Street, who said they didn't want a mob of tourists and accompanying vendors outside their door. As for Di Modica, he stated in writing that he will only approve the continued display of “Charging Bull” on the north plaza of Bowling Green Park, as is. 

In rejecting the proposal, Commission President Signe Nielsen said the Commission was sympathetic to the DOT's safety concerns as well as the objections raised by residents. But she said neither could play a role in its decision.

“Staying with the fact that we are the Public Design Commission and our issue is aesthetics we are rejecting this proposal on the basis of its proposed location.” 

“We are not saying there is not a safety concern with its current location.” Nielsen added, saying that she urged the DOT and NYPD  to work with the community and community board to either find a mutually satisfactory location, or improve the current one.

Under cover of night on Dec. 22, 1989, Di Modica, the artist, hauled “Charging Bull” onto Broad Street, leaving it in front of the New York Stock Exchange, whose officials didn’t take kindly to the gift and had it removed. Later, in an agreement with Di Modica, the city installed the statue on the Bowling Green plaza, where it has been ever since.