The Daily Plant : Wednesday, August 30, 2000
ARTHUR ASHE COMMEMORATIVE GARDEN AND MONUMENT UNVEILED ON DAY ONE OF THE U.S. OPEN
After much anticipation, sculptor Eric Fischl's statue in memory of tennis champion and humanitarian Arthur Ashe was unveiled on Monday, August 28 at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, on the first day of this year's US Open.
Parks Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern, USTA President Judy Levering, and Arthur Ashe Commemorative Committee Co-Chairs Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe and Michael Ainslie were all present for the unveiling of the statue, a study in the human athletic form. Fischl's work depicts a nude figure reaching up in the position of a tennis serve. Levering said that the statue is "provocative, but that was Arthur Ashe. It is meant to represent all people from all races and backgrounds, Arthur's full range of impact."
The statue is surrounded by a commemorative garden designed by the firm of M. Paul Friedberg and Partners and is located on a direct axis with the World's Fair Unisphere. The USTA plans to expand the garden into a "Walk of Champions" honoring all of the tennis greats who have played at the US Open through the years.
The garden and statue are only the latest attractions to be added to a park with a long and colorful history. Flushing Meadows Corona Park was long ago the site of an ash dump, which became a part of American folklore when F. Scott Fitzgerald described it as "the valley of ashes" in his 1925 novel The Great Gatsby. Since then, Flushing Meadows Corona Park has been the site of the 1939-40 World's Fair, temporary headquarters of the United Nations, site of the 1964-65 World's Fair, and, since 22 years ago, home of the USTA National Tennis Center and the US Open. Arthur Ashe Stadium, one of the finest tennis stadiums in the world, was added to the tennis center in 1997.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Wednesday, September 2, 1987)
HARBOR PARK BOAT TOUR BEGINS
The Department's Harbor Park tour boat at Battery Park will begin service on Labor Day, September 7, by running round trip excursions between Slip 2 at the Battery and Pier 1 at the World's Fair Marina at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens. This unique excursion service will be convenient for people attending either the US Open or the Mets baseball game against the Phildelphia Phillies at Shea Stadium. Of course, it will also serve as an inexpensive scenic excursion along the East River.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
The more the marble wastes, the more the statue grows.
Michelangelo Bunoarroti (1475-1564)
Directions to Battery Park
Know Before You Go
There are currently 2 service interruptions affecting access within this park.
The SeaGlass Carousel is currently under construction. SeaGlass is an aquatic-themed ride aimed at providing an exciting amenity for the millions of tourists and New Yorkers who visit the Battery annually.
Anticipated Completion: Winter 2014
Portions of the Battery are closed for various improvements, including a connection between the Greenways along the Hudson River and the East River. The 12-acre site will feature a meandering bikeway and walkway through lushly planted perennial gardens; a reconstructed Battery Green, the large oval lawn that serves as a public assembly and performance area; restoration and relocation of 10 monuments to the perimeter for better placement and increased visibility; a protected and replanted woodland area; new paths, trees and seating surrounding the park, and upgraded paving, edging, furnishings and lighting.
Anticipated Completion: Summer 2014
Battery Park Weather
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