Grand Army Plaza
The Daily Plant : Thursday, June 20, 2002
PARKS SHOWS SUPPORT OF HIGH BRIDGE RESTORATION
On Friday, June 14, the High Bridge Coalition hosted a one-day conference during which supporters of reopening and restoring the High Bridge gathered to exchange ideas and garner enthusiasm. Parks played a major role that day, both through Commissioner Adrian Benepe giving welcoming remarks and also Deputy Commissioner Amy Freitag speaking on the proposed capital restoration of the bridge. About 50 people attended the morning session of the conference at the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site.
The spectacular High Bridge was built between 1832 and 1848 and is the oldest existing bridge in New York City that links two boroughs, Bronx and Manhattan. It served as the aqueduct that, for the first time, brought fresh water to Manhattan from the Croton River. Thousands of people would spend their free time promenading across the bridge and enjoying breathtaking vistas of the Harlem River Valley. The Old Croton Aqueduct system is a National Historic Landmark. The bridge has been closed since around 1970.
In his remarks, Commissioner Benepe said, "In 2002, we will take the first step towards implementing a plan to reopen High Bridge for recreational use. For the first time since 1985, an in-depth inspection will take place to assess the current state of the structure." The Department of Transportation (DOT) pledged $1 million to fund the inspection and the final $100,000 comes from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). "Reopening the Bridge will require a great investment on the part of all the city agencies involved in the project. Parks is actively applying for funding that would allow us to restore this bridge to its former glory. We recently completed a $739,000 restoration on the Bronx side of Highbridge Park, displaying our commitment to revitalizing this area," said Commissioner Benepe.
Other speakers were Christopher O. Ward, Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, Jane Schachat, Director of North Manhattan Parks, Steve Golden, Program Manager of the Rivers & Trails Program of the National Park Service, Sidney Horenstein of the American Museum of Natural History, and Jeff Olson of Trailblazer Inc. The afternoon session of the conference included a tour of the High Bridge Water Tower and a history lesson led by Horenstein. The event was organized by the High Bridge Coalition, a consortium of government agencies and not-for-profit organizations committed to restoring and preserving the High Bridge, reopening it for safe and enjoyable public use, and establishing it as the Manhattan/Bronx link in a regional Old Croton Aqueduct Greenway System.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Thursday, June 29, 1989)
SLOCUM MONUMENT RESTORED WITH $57,000 DONATION
Four mounted Parks Enforcement Patrol officers flanked the majestic equestrian statue of General Henry Warner Slocum at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn on Tuesday to celebrate the $57,000 restoration that returned the Civil War hero to his former splendor.
The monument, which was completed in 1905, sits atop a small hill at Plaza Street East and Grand Army Plaza in Prospect Park. Over the years, pollution and vandalism resulted in the deterioration of the historic monument.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"People change and forget to tell each other."
(June 20, 1905–1984)