Sculpted by Frederick George Richard Roth, Balto is a popular climbing statue among Central Park's youngest visitors—a fitting feature, given his backstory.
In January 1925, a diphtheria outbreak threatened the children of Nome, Alaska, some 700 miles from the medicine they needed in Anchorage. In a story that captivated the world, 20 sled-dog teams relayed the medicine through blinding snow and subzero temperatures. An intrepid Siberian husky named Balto completed the final 53-mile leg of the journey.
Balto’s triumph earned him overnight celebrity, and the artists of New York City were adamant that they honor him. Frederick George Richard Roth’s sculpture was dedicated on December 17, 1925. The real Balto, along with his musher Gunnar Kaasen, attended the ceremony, making Balto the only Central Park statue to have its honoree present at the unveiling.