Parks Cuts The Ribbon On Renovated Charlton-Thompson Garden
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Congressman José E. Serrano, City Council Members Helen Diane Foster and Melissa Mark-Viverito, Community Board 3 District Manager John Dudley, local veterans – including members of the Friends of Charlton Garden and the 24th Infantry Regiment Combat Team Association, and family members of Sgt. Cornelius Charlton and Pfc. William Thompson to cut the ribbon on $3.7 million in renovations to the garden and rename the site to honor both men. Before the event James Thompson, cousin of Pfc. Thompson, led a procession of veterans in the presentation of the colors.
“Building world-class parks throughout the city has been one of the hallmarks of the Bloomberg administration, and since 2002 we have put more than $600 million into parks in the Bronx,” said Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “However this would not have been possible without community involvement – whether established conservancies, fledgling friends groups, or local stewards. Thanks to the tireless advocacy of the Friends of Charlton Garden – a group of local veterans, and the support of Bronx elected officials, we have been able to a remake Charlton-Thompson Garden into a worthy memorial for two war heroes from this community.”
Thanks to $1,900,000 from Council Member Helen Diane Foster, $1,300,000 from Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and a $500,000 federal grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Parks reconstructed this garden with a rebuilt pergola, expanded planted areas, reconstructed entrance, ADA-compliant ramp, decorative pavers, fencing, lighting, and a new flagpole with a stone base that includes inscriptions honoring both Charlton and Thompson.
The property for the Charlton-Thompson Garden was acquired by the City of New York and opened as a park in 1935. In 1952, the City Council passed a local law that named the property Sergeant Cornelius H. Charlton Playground. Charlton had received the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions during the Korean War. During this latest reconstruction, the site was renamed to honor both Charlton and Thompson, another Bronx resident who also received a posthumous Medal of Honor.