Duncan's Column was named for Duncan Youngerman, the son of the artist Jack Youngerman and the actress Delphine Seyrig, Indiana's neighbors on Coenties Slip. It is the first of his sculptures to utilize a round column as opposed to a square or rectangular beam. The column was a remnant of Youngerman's building at 27 Coenties Slip, where the two artists had run an art school, the Coenties Slip Workshop, in 1957.
Stenciled around the column in black, red, and white, are the words and phrases:
Ship Slip / 27 Beacon / Gull Pier / Barge Tug / 3 Bridges / Jeanette [sic] / Love Pier / 15 Gingkoes [sic] / Doghouse / J. / Orange / Tars Pier / Delphine / Big Red / 60 Ironhorse / Ells Pier / New York / U.S. / Indiana.
The text describes the facts, people and places of Indiana's neighborhood and community. For example, "Orange" referred to Ellsworth Kelly's dog, "J." to John Kloss, Indiana's partner at the time, and "Jeanette" (sic) to Jeannette Park, the park across the street from Indiana's studio.