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Rufus King Park

The Daily Plant : Friday, October 20, 2000

CIVIL WAR SOLDIERS MARCH INTO CHRISTOPHER PARK


Malcolm (Cinema) Pinckney

Yesterday, Parks celebrated the rededication of one of New York City’s great statues, of General Philip Henry Sheridan. The sculpture, located in Christopher Park, honors the distinguished Civil War cavalry commander for whom the surrounding square was named in 1896; it is one of nine statues of Civil War generals in New York City parks. The monument was originally unveiled on October 19, 1936, the 72nd anniversary of General Sheridan’s heroic victory at the battle of Cedar Creek in the Shenandoah Valley.

The larger-than-life statue, sculpted by General Philip Sheridan, depicts the officer in full army regalia, booted and spurred with a sword suspended at his side. Its granite pedestal includes the inscription attributed to General Ulysses S. Grant: “He belongs to the first rank of soldiers, not only of our country, but of the world.”

This year, the City Parks Foundation Monuments Conservation Program refurbished the sculpture. A campaign spearheaded by Robert W. Lord, a descendant of four Civil War Union soldiers, rallied more than a hundred contributors to help fund the sculpture’s restoration. Matching funds were received from American Express Company, the Florence Gould Foundation and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT

CONSTITUTION TREE PLANTING AT RUFUS KING PARK IN QUEENS
(Friday, October 23, 2000)

While Councilman Morton Povman, Assemblywoman Barbara Clark, Community Board 12 Chairperson Shirley N. Moore and local residents looked on, parkies readied large shovels in preparation for a ceremonial planting of 13 Sugar Maple trees near Rufus King Manor, located in Rufus King Park at 89th Avenue and 153rd Street in Queens. The trees are being planted in parks citywide to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. "Since the Green Mountain Sugar Maple is native to North America, and especially the Northeast, it is a fitting specimen to be planted at this historic site," said Commissioner Stern. "One tree will be planted for each of the original 13 colonies."

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

A country losing touch with its own history is like an old man losing his glasses, a distressing sight, at once vulnerable, unsure, and easily disoriented.

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