Located in James Michael Levin Playground at Central Park, the Loeb Memorial Fountain is honoring the journalist and social worker Sophie Irene Loeb, known as the godmother of American children.
Divorced at 35, Loeb moved to NYC and started to write for the Evening World. As the oldest of six children in a family of migrants, Loeb helped her widow mother to support the family. Familiar with financial struggles, she mainly wrote about social subjects, such as welfare for widowers, community centers and playgrounds for children, school lunches funding, housing reforms, installation of public baths, and fireproofing movie theaters. She founded and served as the president of the Child Welfare Board of NYC, as well as of the Child Welfare Committee of America.
The fountain was unveiled on October 3rd, 1936, and created by Frederick G.R. Roth. Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, the granite pediment depicts various characters from the book, including Alice, the queen and king of hearts, the hatter, the white rabbit, and the Cheshire cat. The base of the fountain is engraved with Loeb’s quotations.
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