Memorial Column, the centerpiece of West Village, is a 234 feet tall column built in 1896 to memorialize citizens - particularly Minnesotans - who had died in the conflicts - American Revolution, Civil War, Spanish-American War, etc. - that had preceeded the building of this monument. Until 1929, when the Edgerson State Building & Judicial Center was completed, it was the tallest structure in Mankato. The statue at the top of the column is an allegorical statue of Peace, made out of bronze. Its placement in a residential neighborhood was controversial at the time, but was defended because it was located at the near geographic center of the city. Legendary Mankato mayor and future Senator Thomas Edgerson (of whom the Edgerson State Building is named after) also claimed he wanted the monument to be "for the people," and not something that only politicians could look out the window and see.