At the center of the 34th Street district where Broadway and Sixth Avenue meet, lies Herald Square. The square was named after the New York Herald, a popular daily newspaper established in 1835 by James Gordon Bennett, Sr. (1795-1872). The Herald, as it was often referred to, was known for sensationalistic coverage of scandal and crime, and had a huge national circulation. The Herald's headquarters moved to the area now known as Herald Square in 1894 and occupied the iconic Herald building for 25 years. The two story arcaded building was designed by architecture firm McKim, Mead, and White, and featured several bronze owls mounted along the façade, as well as statues of Minerva and two bell-ringing blacksmiths, who later earned the nicknames "Stuff and Guff" or "Gog and Magog."
In 1918, the Herald moved its offices to 42nd Street, and three years later, the statues were removed from the building's façade. They went into the possession of William Dewart, then proprietor of the New York Sun. Years later, in 1940, when Herald Square underwent a massive renovation, the statues were given to the city on permanent loan and placed in a Milford granite pedestal in Herald Square Park. The pedestal, designed by architect Aymar Emburry II, and statues from the Herald building make up a monument to James Gordon Bennett. The dedication ceremony was held on November 19, 1940.