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Madison Square Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, November 20, 2002


After a three-year period of darkness, the Eternal Light in Madison Square Park once again illuminates the night sky. This Veteran's Day, Commissioner Benepe joined Mayor Bloomberg, Lou Rana, Vice President of Manhattan Electric Operations for Con Ed, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, Debbie Landau from the Madison Square Park Conservancy, Major General Colt Commandant of the 77th Regional Support Command and other Military representatives to officially re-light the Eternal Light Memorial in Madison Square Park.

This star-shaped lamp sits atop the flagpole in Madison Square Park. The light was first lit on Armistice Day, November 11, 1923 to commemorate the return of United States troops from World War I. Architect Thomas Hastings, of the noted architectural team of Carrère and Hastings first designed the Memorial. The original flagpole was crafted out of Oregon pine, but in 1976, the pole was replaced with steel and its electrical system was updated. Hastings, along with Carrère, also worked on the design of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue.

In April 2002, Parks & Recreation and Con Edison joined forces to return the Eternal Light Memorial to its original splendor. Completed in September 2002, the star's new lighting interior glows 240 watts strong. Con Edison and the Sentry Electric Corp. of Freeport, New York collaborated on designing and implementing the LED lighting system while Parks & Recreation ensured the star was in perfect condition before the new bulbs were installed.

This new lighting fixture will provide up to 12 years or 100,000 hours of continuous illumination. Thanks to the efforts of Parks & Recreation and Con Edison the Eternal Light Memorial in Madison Square Park flickers once again to honor those who have given their life to fight for the freedom of our country.

Rehabilitated To Once Again Reign In The Skies Above Central Park

Friday, November 1, 2002 was a very lucky day for one resident of New York City. In the Ravine in Central Park, a 5-6 month old red-tailed hawk was found and probably didn't have much longer to live. The bird was severely underweight and was suffering from a mild concussion (thought to be sustained by a collision). A park patron spotted the bird and alerted Parks & Recreation, and Urban Park Ranger (UPR) Perry Wargo responded to the call. Wargo transported the hawk to the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan, which eventually brought the hawk to the Green Chimney Wildlife Center in Brewster, New York to continue its rehabilitation. After almost two weeks of rehabilitation, the hawk’s weight was brought from 27 ounces to 34 ounces, and the hawk was given a clean bill of health. On Wednesday, November 13, 2002, a small group of Parkies, including Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Chief of the Urban Park Service Alex Brash, and honorary Parkie Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris, gathered on the roof of the Arsenal to watch as the hawk was re-released. UPR Yvonne Monge held up the youthful hawk for all to see before letting him go to find friends, food and more in the wilds of Central Park.

Written by Jeffrey Sandgrund


(Wednesday, November 29, 1989)

Vegetable Love

When Director of Horticulture Thomas Ching was a child, he really liked eating vegetables – a fact that stayed with him.

Years later, as an English major at Cornell University, he sought a change of direction and thought, "Why not turn my love of vegetables into a career?" So, Ching joined the school’s botany department…and a horticulturist was born.


"One-fifth of the people are against everything all the time."

Robert F. Kennedy

(November 20, 1925–1968)

Directions to Madison Square Park

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