Father Giorgio Triangle
Father Giorgio Triangle
Father Edward J. Giorgio (1909-1946) is the namesake of this Williamsburg triangle, located at the intersection of Jackson and Lorimer Streets and Meeker Avenue. Ordained in 1935, Father Giorgio was the cherished pastor and spiritual leader of our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church on North Eighth Street from 1935 until 1943. He is remembered today for his work with the youth of Williamsburg, successfully encouraging many of them to attend Mass weekly and to join the award-winning Mt. Carmel Cadet Corps, a marching band which he founded shortly after his arrival.
Father Giorgio was drafted as a chaplain into the United States Army in 1943, and served in that capacity until 1946. While in Europe, he sustained an injury to his leg that required amputation. After returning home to his parish, Father Giorgio died of blood poisoning at Ft. Hamilton Army Hospital on January 13, 1946, at the age of thirty-six. He was buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery.
This cobblestoned site was acquired by the city in 1946 during proceedings for the creation of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and became parkland that same year. The BQE was constructed under the direction of Parks Commissioner Robert Moses from 1946 to 1964 at a cost of $137 million from federal, state and city funds. Linking the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, the six-lane, 11.7 mile long highway was built to relieve congestion on local streets and to aid industry and business by shortening transportation time. After undergoing repeated reconstruction projects in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the BQE will receive a $240-million, 4-year rehabilitation from the New York State Department of Transportation, scheduled to be completed in 2004.
Three months after Father Giorgio’s death in 1946, the Catholic War Veterans of America formed the Father Edward J. Giorgio Post 689 on Lorimer Street. In 1951, the organization dedicated the plaque now mounted on the marble monument here. In tribute to Father Giorgio, it reads, “His greatest love was God. His greatest devotion humanity. His greatest heritage a living inspiration to us all.” In 1953, local law named this parkland to honor Father Giorgio. Three beech trees, at each corner of the park, provide welcome shade, and an American flag pays further homage to Father Giorgio’s dedication to his country and his people in World War II.