This sculpture is inside a 60-foot circular state park, the second smallest state park in California, on the Sonoma Coast.

Also known as ‘Madonna of Peace’ and ‘The Expanding Universe,’ the 93-foot sculpture dominates the cliff and is visible far down the highway and from all nearby beaches and bluffs. The work is made of concrete, mosaic tile, redwood, and lead.

Artist Benjamino Bufano (who also designed St. Francis of the Guns in San Francisco) started working on the obelisk in May, 1962, a few months before the Cuban Missile Crisis. The reality of Soviet and American ballistic missiles poised for global war influenced the look of the sculpture (which resembles a huge missile).

Nonetheless, his Madonna and child and topped by a huge open and welcoming hand-is all about peace and world harmony. It took seven years to complete the Peace Obelisk. A few months later, in August 1970, Bufano died.

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