Two hundred thirty-five years ago this month, Bernardo de Gálvez came ashore at Pensacola with his fleet of Spanish warships, ready to lay siege to the British in an effort to take back the city on behalf of the Spanish empire.
Galvez received honorary U.S. citizenship in 2014, becoming one of only eight people to have ever been adorned with the title. The Spanish military leader was also named a Great Floridian in 2012, and a bust of Galvez is located at the Fort George site on North Hill.
Now, in another honor, a 4,000 pound life-size bronze statue of Galvez will be erected atop a fountain at the intersection of Wright and Palafox streets where the old streetcar line once passed through.
The statue is part of the newly-formed “Monuments Project,” an effort by the Pensacola Heritage Foundation to create public sculptures in Pensacola honoring historical figures and events. The foundation envisions 10 public monuments, with the Galvez monument being the first.
Navy Capt. (Ret.) Robert Rasmussen, former director of the National Naval Aviation Museum, will be sculpting the Galvez statue by hand, having completed numerous other statues around Pensacola, including the de Luna statue at Plaza de Luna near the Port of Pensacola. Dio Perera designed the architectural fountain and base for the statue.