Togo to go: Bronze Dog Statue in Seward Park is Relocated

Posted on: November 8th, 2019 at 5:02 am by

The bronze dog sculpture near the East Broadway entrance to Seward Park is easy to miss. Before its relocation last week, he had been buried in the brush, guarding the small children’s playground (i.e. the tot lot).

Now, as part of the ongoing $6.4 million “Parks Without Borders” renovations, he’s on the move.

So this might be a good time to tell his story…

It starts with the park itself, named for Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William H. Seward, who purchased the Alaska territory from Russia in 1867 for $7 million. The politician was chastised, with the press quick to nickname the transaction as Seward’s folly.

In keeping with the Alaska theme, the bronze statue is fashioned in the likeness of Togo (not to be confused with Dorothy’s companion), a contemporary of the world-famous sled dog Balto. Both huskies were part of Leonhard Seppala’s relay expedition that, in 1925, delivered anti-dyptheria serum to the small city of Nome (“The Great Race of Mercy”) in order to curb an imminent health epidemic. Twenty mushers pushed 150 sled dogs some 674 miles in five-and-a-half days.

Most of the attention is usually bestowed upon Balto, with Togo getting the short end of the rod. No movies were made about him and tourists don’t flock to this sculpture like in Central Park. Yet Togo was the sled dog that led the mission through the most dangerous part of the expedition. History tells us that Balto was merely the backup (nay, the handoff) on the last leg of the journey who stole the spotlight.

Togo the dog has taken on new meaning for the Seward Park Conservancy, which is at the forefront of the current remodeling. The mantra compares Togo to the plight of the park in the sense that this lesser-known city treasure will ultimately finish the race.

Recent Stories

Loved Ones Crowdfunding for Grubhub Deliveryman Stabbed to Death on the LES

Loved ones have taken to online crowdfunding platform GoFundMe to help raise money for the Grubhub deliveryman stabbed to death in Sara D. Roosevelt Park last weekend. As reported, the incident transpired early Saturday morning near the Hester Playground in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Surveillance footage shows that the attacker sat on the bench next […]

Coastal Resiliency Project Forces Lower East Side Ecology Center Compost Yard to Staten Island

The Lower East Side Ecology Center has its walking papers. The local nonprofit is amidst a move, relocating the East River compost yard it called home for the last two decades. Over the last week or so, the 22-year-old compost yard was dismantled, as the East Side Coastal Resilience Project is set to break ground […]

‘Citi Bites’ Takes Hell Square Corner

Another fast food option is coming to Hell Square. Citi Bites, not Citi Bikes, is described as a “modern deli,” this month signed a lease for the 2,000 square-foot cornershop at 101 Stanton Street. It takes the place of the former Prema hair salon which closed earlier this year. The bodega business reportedly agreed to […]

Police Release Chilling Video in Murder of Delivery Worker in Sara D. Roosevelt Park

Police released chilling new surveillance video showing the approached the defenseless delivery worker, moments before allegedly murdering him and stealing the electronic bike on the Lower East Side. As reported, the incident transpired early Saturday morning near the Hester Playground in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The footage shows the attacker sitting on the bench next […]

Out on the Essex Street ‘Fiore Escape’

The fire escape spectacle entertained Essex Street anew. Friday evening, Lower East Sider Jill Fiore again stepped onto her tenement fire escape at 29 Essex for a short concert. Fiore was flanked by bandmates Derek Cruz on lead guitar, Dave Spinley on saxophone, and Joan Chew on bass. Like previous Fiore Escape outings, this one […]