This monument to Christopher Columbus was carved in Italian Carrara marble and dedicated October 8, 1984 by President Ronald Reagan and then-mayor of Baltimore, William Donald Schaefer. It faced east along Eastern Avenue, the direction from which the explorer's vessels arrived over 525 years ago. Each year Baltimore's Italian community held a wreath-laying ceremony in Columbus Piazza followed by a Columbus Day Parade, in existence for over 127 years and the longest-running in the U.S. In 2019, a new Italian Heritage Festival and scaled-down parade replaced the traditional version.
In 2020 on the 4th of July, the monument was attacked, the statue toppled over by an angry mob of 100 unpeaceful protestors, and its broken pieces dragged to - and pushed into - the nearby harbor. Less than 48 hours later, members of local Italian American organizations secured divers to retrieve the pieces which are being sculpted back together. The Columbus Piazza is owned by Baltimore City.
On the base appear bas relief carvings showing the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, the explorer's birthplace of Genoa, as well as the landing and meeting with the Indians of the new land.
President Ronald Reagan receives a miniature replica of the Christopher Columbus statue during the dedication of the same lifesize Columbus statue October 8, 1984 with Baltimore's Italian community. (Photo courtesy Dominic Averza.)