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Seth Low Playground/ Bealin Square

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, December 5, 2001

STATEN ISLANDERS DEDICATE A NEW MONUMENT


Photos by Spencer (Flasher) Tucker

Next year’s Great Kills Memorial Day Parade will have a starting point worthy of the veterans marching. The Great Kills Memorial, dedicated Sunday, December 2, will focus their thoughts and those of passersby on the Americans who give their lives in service of the United States.

The cul de sac outside the Great Kills stop on the Staten Island Rapid Transit has been graced with a centerpiece whose design speaks to the thoughts of many New Yorkers. Five eight-foot granite blocks honor the different branches of the military. They are engraved with authentic emblems, retrieved from the Pentagon and the Department of Defense. Atop each granite block is a bust intended to represent the men and women who serve. Two faces look east toward Afghanistan. The measurements of the pedestal, nine feet by eleven inches, subtly recall the date of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

The Great Kills Veteran’s Memorial Day Parade Committee and the Watkins-Kellett Post #277 proposed the project and designed it in consultation with Parks’ Deputy Director of Design, Mike (Greenman) Browne and Bradley (Straight) Romaker. As Council Member, Stephen (Leafy) Fiala allocated $80,000 for construction and a local company, the Memorial Granite Corporation of Woodside, Queens, fashioned the monument. At the dedication ceremony the Great Kills Veterans Memorial began its own life of service, serving the memory of those who died.

Congressman Vito (South Shore) Fossella; Council Member Andrew Lanza; Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern; Stephen Fiala, Staten Island County Clerk; Thomas (Richmond) Paulo, Staten Island Borough Commissioner; Fred Black, County Commander of the American Legion’s Watkins-Kellett Post # 277; and John Esposito of the Great Kills Memorial Day Parade Committee were all present for a packed ceremony that included a 21 gun salute by members of the Marine Corps and a rendition of the National Anthem given by Miss Staten Island, Ryan Kelly.

Read the press release for this event.

ORIGINAL CENTRAL PARK WEATHERVANES FOR SALE
(AND ON VIEW TOO)

Among the artworks to be sold at Christie’s auction house this Thursday are a series of crayon drawings by William Hunt Diederich who lived from 1884 to 1953. His designs for public spaces include the animal-themed weathervanes at the Central and Prospect Park Zoos. These drawings, in the collection of his daughter, Diana Diederich Blake, are valued between $2,500 and $3,500. They are on view for free today until noon at 20 Rockefeller Plaza, Christie’s New York headquarters. Diederich incorporated a fondness for animals into his designs for utilitarian objects. The Central Park weathervanes show animal forms that corresponded to the location of those animals within the zoo. The original weathervanes remained in the zoo until the renovation in 1988 when they were replaced with copies.

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEWS FOUNDER’S BOOK

Betsy Barlow (Founder) Rogers, creator of the Central Park Conservancy, has written a history of the design of green spaces called Landscape Design: A Cultural and Architectural History. The book, published by Abrams, received high praise in the New York Times Book Review of December 2, 2001. Architecture critic Martin Filler called the work a "magnum opus" and wrote, "...it is impossible to think of a better synthesis than this magisterial overview."

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT
(Wednesday, December 14, 1988)

NEW PARKHOUSE OPENS
IN SETH LOW PLAYGROUND

This winter, Brooklyn residents who have long enjoyed warm-weather sports at Seth Low Playground can come in from the cold to have fun. After 10 years without a parkhouse, the 4.9-acre playground, bounded by Bay Parkway, Avenue P and Stillwell Avenue in Bensonhurst, once again features a cozy indoor facility.

The new parkhouse, completed at a cost of $500,000, officially opened Monday morning, when the mercury barely reached 20 degrees F. Among the parkhouse’s amenities are a multi-purpose meeting room complete with kitchen (a warming thought) and bathroom facilities. While outside the house (a chilling thought) included the creation of a new picnic area and installation of a lighting system and drinking fountains.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"To a poet, nothing can be useless."

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

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