Yesterday, I joined hundreds of my fellow West Siders, active service members, and veterans at the annual Memorial Day commemoration at the Solders’ and Sailors’ Monument in Riverside Park.
This beautiful Memorial to New York’s Civil War dead was dedicated 120 years ago yesterday by Governor Theodore Roosevelt. It has become a special place for New Yorkers who served in every war since.
Despite its importance and landmark status, the Monument is in terrible condition– chained off to the public. The last major restoration was 60 years ago. A City Parks Department study five years ago estimated restoring the Monument and Plaza at $29-$30 million. But nothing was done.
Council Member Gale Brewer has made it her mission to restore the Monument and spoke eloquently yesterday. To her credit, all the other speakers urged the restoration as well. Brewer said she has commitments from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and the Mayor’s Office to make obtaining federal funding for the restoration a priority next year. But this is a City landmark. Brewer also is looking for City funding.
Brewer circulated a petition yesterday and has posted it online for people to show their support. Please read her message and sign on. The Conservancy is pledged to work with her.
President, The New York Landmarks Conservancy