The American Cape, an Alexander Hamilton sculpture, on High Street at Journal Square in downtown Hamilton, was unveiled Oct. 23, 2004.
Created by sculptor Kristen Visbal of Lewes, Delaware, the 4,000-pound bronze figure is 12 feet, four inches in height on a 16-inch base on a three-foot granite stand.
It was commissioned in May 2003 by Historic Hamilton Inc. and Hamilton, Ohio, City of Sculpture, Inc. The artist was selected after 10 area citizens considered entries from around the world. The American Cape — which is the largest likeness of Hamilton in the nation — faces east on High Street between Second and Third streets. It has been described as depicting “the intellectual versus military attributes of this Founding Father.” It is called “a non-traditional historical piece” with “Hamilton as orator with a full-length cape, which blows up and back and becomes the 13-star American flag of Hamilton’s era.”
“The sculpture’s portrait was modeled primarily after the John Trumbull image engraved on the $10 bill by GFC Smillie in 1906.” The City of Sculpture said, “the piece will join at least eight sculptural works of Hamilton throughout the country and is the largest likeness of Hamilton to date, followed by the seven-foot, nine-inch sculpture located in front of the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D. C.”
The sculpture, cast in bronze in Norman, Oklahoma, is “surrounded with 18 imbedded granite diamonds [in the sidewalk], highlighting quotes by Alexander Hamilton.”
On the south side of High Street are plaques highlighting phases of Hamilton’s life and his major contributions to forming the United States.