The monument was a gift from the people of the City of Buenos Aires and dedicated in 1951. It was located at the entrance to the Park at 59th Street and Sixth Avenue, which was established as a plaza to South American heroes in 1945 when Sixth Avenue was renamed the “Avenue of the Americas.” The project was initiated during the height of the Cold War and signaled an alliance between the U.S. and the South American nations against the perceived threat of communism. José de San Martín is depicted mid-battle, in a heroic stance, with his war horse rearing beneath him.
It is one of a trio of equestrian statues honoring Latin American liberators and stands alongside the monuments Simon Bolívar and José Martí. Although quite large, the monument is a smaller-scaled replica of a monument in Buenos Aires created in 1862 by the French sculptor Louis-Joseph Daumas.