Citizen of Tribeca | State to find new location for monument to essential workers
State to find new location for monument to essential workers
Battery Park City Authority chairman George Tsunis told residents of Rockefeller yesterday that the state would certainly choose another location for the monument. And he says – you can watch the video yourself – that the governor accepted. It is clear from the video that there was a fairly cursory understanding of how these parks are used. “We really did not understand the closeness and how many parents and children [play here], he told the group.
So attribute this to a truly valuable achievement for BPC and its neighbors.
UPDATE: Neighbors have told me they are still planning a rally on Monday July 5 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the site on the lawn. Wear yellow to show your support.
Now, as a resident of Tribeca, I don’t think I have the street credit for telling people what to do with Battery Park City property. But I think I know the parks there better than the authority leaders – at least I’ve used them more – and since they gave the green light to what is obviously a ridiculous location for a monument to the essential workers, this gave me permission to weigh in, with the help of some local residents.
1. Rename an existing song from BPC park.
Rockefeller is named after the creator of Battery Park City but it * might * be renamed, or better yet, choose a BPC park that has a simply descriptive name, such as South Cove, Teardrop Park (especially the Lawn and Rock Garden of the north side) or Rector’s Park. There is a precedent here: the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel, the RFK Bridge and of course the Gov Bridge. Mario M. Cuomo.
2. Add a sculpture and rename Belvedere Plaza.
That was J Frank P’s suggestion in the comments, and it makes even more sense. Rename the Grove of Trees and Gazebo – which is a really lovely but underutilized place – and have a design competition for a sculpture at this site, which often contains temporary sculptures anyway. (And then you just have to hope that we get something better than the Hurricane Maria monument.)
Option three of course is for the governor to spend these funds (I haven’t found out what the budget for the monument is yet, despite questions) on a state park in another neighborhood: I would suggest Riverbank Park in Washington Heights. or Roberto Clemente in the South Bronx – both are parks over 25 acres. I guess there is an extra layer of permissions on the park compared to the ownership of the authority it doesn’t want to manage, but still …
Hopefully if the authority implements its plan to bring neighbors into this discussion next week, a better location will be chosen. I disagree with some neighbors who say they just want to be heard – I actually think there should be absolutely no construction on this site for a full monument stop. But it’s possible the governor’s office and local residents will get what they want by redirecting these plans.