Scottish Americans gifted the statue to the Park on the 100th anniversary of Scott’s birth. Funds for the monument were collected through newspaper advertisements and from social clubs. Like the monuments to other Europeans cultural figures in the Park, the effort to create a monument to Scott reflected the desires of immigrant groups to establish themselves in the City by advocating for representation in public spaces.
The Scottish sculptor John Steell created the bronze figure based on a marble statue he made for Edinburgh, Scotland. The statue as well as the granite pedestal were shipped to New York from his home country.
At the unveiling ceremony in 1872, the master of ceremonies noted the proximity of the Scott monument to the Shakespeare monument in the Park landscape and how it reflected public opinion of the authors as equals. Five years later, Scottish Americans succeeded in getting another prominent Scottish writer in the Park, poet Robert Burns, who faces Scott just across the Mall.