Without a doubt the Giralda Tower in Seville is one of the symbols of the city and has inspired different architects who have copied its model.
The Country Club Plaza and the Giralda Tower in Seville
One of the most curious replicas is the one found in the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City (Missouri). It was the first planned suburban shopping center and the first regional shopping center to accommodate shoppers arriving by car .
Its promoter J.C. Nichols had visited Seville in the early 1920’s and had fallen in love with the city, so in 1922, when the construction of the shopping center began, he was inspired by the different monuments in Seville.
A replica of the Giralda Tower in Seville was built but at half its height and also a fountain lamp like the one found in the square by the Cathedral in Seville.
In 1967 the cities of Seville and Kansas City became officially sister cities and the Mayor of Seville back then, Felix Moreno de la Cova officially “baptizes” it as “La Giralda” of Kansas City.
A sister city relationship is a broad-based, long-term partnership between two communities in two countries.
After the Second World War President Eisenhower partnered with several civic leaders to create people-to-people and sister city affiliations around the world to “help build the solid structure for world peace”.
The Second Madison Square Garden
Also in New York, there was once a replica of the Giralda Tower in Seville, now sadly disappeared.
In 1890 the architects Charles McKim, William Rutherford Mead and Stanford White built the second “Madison Square Garden” was an indoor arena in New York City, the second by that name.
Built in 1890 and closing in 1925, the arena hosted numerous events, including boxing matches, orchestral performances, light operas and romantic comedies.
Its minaret-like tower modeled after Giralda Tower in Seville, was particularly noteworthy. In this case instead of the weather vane representing the Faith that crowns the Giralda Tower in Seville it was decided to place an sculpture of Diana the Huntress made by the Irish artist Augustus Saint-Gaudens.
The building was demolished in 1925 due to problems of non-payment but the weather vane survived. The New York Life Insurance Company kept it and in 1932 donated it to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
If we take a walk in Seville along the New York Dock we can contemplate today a copy of the Diana the Huntress statue that once crowned the New York Giralda, made in 2019 by Ricardo Suárez.
Apart from these two replicas, there are some more scattered around the world.
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