This triangle commemorates Arthur Stanley Egbert (1893-1918), a member of a prominent Staten Island family, who fought and died in World War I (1914-1918). Arthur Stanley Egbert was born on July 6, 1893 and lived at 1288 Richmond Avenue. Before entering the war, he worked as a conductor for the Richmond Light and Rail Road Company. Serving as a Seaman Second Class for the U.S. Navy, Egbert died on May 31, 1918, when the USS President Lincoln sank. This site is dedicated to him and to the people of Graniteville and Port Richmond who died in World War I. The site was named Egbert Square on April 16, 1929. Years later, Commissioner Stern renamed the site Egbert Triangle to better reflect its shape.
The Egbert family name is preserved in several locations on Staten Island. According to Staten Island historians, Covert Egbert settled on Staten Island in 1660. His descendant Jacobus and his wife, Catharina Dey Egbert, gave birth to Teunis Egbert, whose son John Egbert was born in 1751. John Egbert owned much of the area around the intersection of Richmond Road and Rockland Avenue, a neighborhood known today as Egbertville. John Egbert, a farmer and weaver, was the first in his family to have Staten Island landmarks named for him. Generations later, on March 6, 1862, John Egbert’s great-grandson George Egbert was born in Egbertville.
George Egbert played an active role in Staten Island public education. A proprietor of Egbert’s Men’s Shop in Tompkinsville, he was appointed to Local School Board 53 by Borough President George Cromwell (1860-1934) in 1901. He served on the board for more than 40 years, 16 of those as chairman. In addition to his school-board activities, George Egbert acted as an organizer and chairman of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences. A devoted citizen, he personally awarded diplomas to thousands of public school graduates and, in later years, to their children and grandchildren. When George Egbert died in 1957 at age 95, a junior high school in Midland Beach was named in his memory.
The City acquired Egbert Triangle, located at Richmond and Forest Avenues, on November 29, 1929. Parks assumed responsibility for its maintenance through Local Law 22 of 1968, which put all parks and squares under the jurisdiction of the newly created super-agency Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs. This green memorial is planted with shrubs and encircled by a steel fence. Inside is a large, uncut stone with a plaque dedicated by Post 95 of the American Legion. Mayor Giuliani allocated funds for a $35,860 renovation of the fences, guide rails, and details of the site in 1997.
Egbert Triangle is a project of Greenstreets, a collaborative effort begun in 1986 and revived in 1994 by Parks and the Department of Transportation to convert unused traffic islands into green spaces filled with shade trees, flowering trees, shrubs, and groundcover. In each Greenstreets site, clusters of plants create a cool, moist microclimate in an area subject to vehicular exhaust and reflected heat. Greenstreets contributes to the mosaic of green space in Staten Island and all of New York City.