The WWI Austrian Cannon is back–or not–in Washington Square Park!

The WWI Austrian Cannon is back–or not–in Washington Square Park!
washington square park

Cannon during its short reappearance before dissapearing.

• August 7, 2015


Base of Austrian cannon monument, several days ago

A few days ago – swear on a stack of bibles – I went to Washington Square Park to take pictures of the base of a monument that, until about ten years ago, held an Austrian cannon captured by the Italian Army in 1918 and later donated to the city of Rochester in 1921. Recently, along with Chuck Baylis of the Military History Society of Rochester, I wrote a story on a German World War One cannon in need of repair sitting near the Canal Path in Pittsford.  Over the Top! Courtesy of the Military History Society of Rochester

Chuck also told me he knew more about the Austrian cannon removed from Washington Square Park. In preparation for an article, I took the photo of the base.

Then, to my shocked surprise, Chuck called to say, also to his surprise, the Austrian cannon was back! On Wednesday, the city of Rochester had put the cannon–now in very shoddy  condition–back in the Park. (See above) The coincidence was startling. So I went back for a new photo.

Then, today, Chuck called again. The cannon was once again gone! A friend sent me a picture of the removal in action. Apparently, the cannon was deemed still too unstable. And, once again, I went for yet another photo.


Cannon being moved, August 7th

More shortly on the mystery and more from Chuck on the history of the cannon and its decade long hiatus.

For an update:  More on the Austrian Cannon Monument including from Rachel Barnhart

see also

Note: I am a Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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