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Dr. Ronald McNair Park

Joseph A. Guider Monument

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This monument, dedicated in 1930, commemorates public servant Joseph A. Guider (1870–1926), who led the borough during a period of expansive public works projects. Guider died while serving as Brooklyn Borough President (1925-6). The monument at one time featured a bronze portrait bust of Guider by sculptor Romeo Frazzanito that was later stolen.

Guider began his career as a builder, but soon turned to politics, serving as an Assemblyman in the nascent city legislative system (1895-1900), as Brooklyn Public Works Commissioner (1918-24), and as Borough President. As Brooklyn’s representative for the 11th District in the City Assembly, Guider sponsored successful legislation in 1897 that allowed bicyclists to cross the Brooklyn Bridge for free.

Filling the void left by Edward Riegelman, who had accepted a position on the State Supreme Court, Guider was installed as interim Borough President at the beginning of 1925 and reelected that November. Guider spearheaded the project that built the Municipal Building on Joralemon Street across from Borough Hall and the County courthouse on Schermerhorn Street. He shepherded through the plan for Brooklyn’s subway lines and widened streets and avenues to clear congestion and facilitate traffic flow within and through the borough. Guider died of appendicitis in 1926.

The park in which this memorial is placed was named for Guider in 1926 and renamed in 1986 for Dr. Ronald E. McNair (1950–1986), who died in the Challenger space shuttle disaster. In 1994 the monument was relocated from the center of the park to its south end as part of a $924,000 capital renovation project. The missing bust was replaced with a decorative granite urn designed to be filled with seasonal flowers.

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