Press Releases

Thursday, November 05, 2020
No. 53


NYC Parks/Daniel Avila

NYC Parks Queens Borough Commissioner Michael Dockett today joined New York City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer to break ground on the reconstruction of the seating area at Doughboy Plaza.

“Doughboy Plaza is a charming and historic neighborhood jewel that offers a peaceful green oasis in Woodside,” said Queens Parks Commissioner Dockett. “Thanks to Council Member Van Bramer, we’re providing community members with an inviting, enhanced greenspace for passive recreation and reflection.”

"The $1.8 million I've allocated to renovating Doughboy Plaza will make this space beautiful. It’s a space that honors so many who have died in service to others," said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. "I'm thrilled to have fought for this great park in Woodside and excited to see construction start."

The project will reconstruct the plaza surrounding the park’s beloved Doughboy monument and provide new drinking fountains, seating, and pathways at the site. This project also includes the reconstruction of the existing retaining wall and the 9/11 Memorial plaque and flagpole. Additional upgrades will include improved security lighting and drainage, new plantings, and a revamped pathway for easier access to the park’s dog run.

Renovations to the seating area were made possible by a $1.87 million allocation from City Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. The project is expected to be complete in fall 2021.

The Woodside Doughboy, alternately known as “Lest We Forget” or the “Returning Soldier,” was created by Burt W. Johnson (1890 - 1927) and commemorates those from this community in Queens who served in World War I. The term doughboy was first used by British soldiers in the 18th and 19th centuries to describe their American counterparts whose round uniform buttons resembled biscuits. After the war, numerous communities commissioned doughboy statues to honor local war heroes. The Woodside Doughboy is one of nine such statues erected in New York City’s parks. Although Doughboy Park did not receive its official name until 1971, since 1923, members of the Woodside community have gathered there on Memorial Day for patriotic ceremonies.

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