Luigi Anthony Macri (1909-1962) was a resident of Williamsburg who served as a technician in the medical department of the army during World War II and returned home to work with the City’s Department of Sanitation while serving as Commander of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter.
This park, developed as a sitting area, was acquired by the City in 1946 during proceedings for the creation of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE). The BQE was constructed under the direction of Parks Commissioner Robert Moses (1888-1981) from 1946 to 1964 at a cost of $137 million. 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. In Williamsburg and Greenpoint small triangular lots were formed as leftovers of once-larger blocks that stood in the highway’s path. Too small to be developed, they were assigned to NYC Parks as sitting areas, memorials, and playgrounds. The site of Macri Triangle was acquired by condemnation for park and highway purposes in 1946. The park was developed in 1949.
The monument located in the southeastern corner of the park was installed by the now-defunct 27 Memorial Post 1751 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1959. It lists the names of the brave young men who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country during World War II. At the time, Williamsburg had a sizable Italian-American population and the bocce court in this park recalls the outdoor game that had its origins in ancient Rome. This previously unnamed triangular park was named in honor of Luigi Macri by Local Law 54, passed by the City Council in 1971.
Located adjacent to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, bound by Metropolitan Avenue, Meeker Avenue and Union Avenue, Macri Triangle is ringed by benches on its three sides. A fenced lawn contains the bocci court and the World War Two memorial.