Marcus Garvey Park
The Daily Plant : Monday, September 9, 2013
Funds Invested To Restore Historic Fire Watchtower
On August 28, NYC Parks Manhattan Borough Commissioner William Castro joined Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, City Council Member Inez Dickens, State Senator Bill Perkins, and members of the community including the Mount Morris Park Community Association and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance to announce that capital funds were invested to restore the historic Mount Morris Fire Watchtower at Marcus Garvey Park.
The fire watchtower located between 120th and 124th Street at the interruption of Fifth Avenue in Marcus Garvey Park (formerly known as Mount Morris Park) was designed by the engineer Julius Kroehl and built in 1856-57. The last of many watchtowers that once provided fire detection for the City of New York, the structure is recognized for both its local and national significance. It is a designated New York City landmark and also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The tower was last restored in 1937-38 using WPA funds to reconstruct the park, restore the tower and create a large surrounding plaza, known as “The Acropolis” at the top of the hill. The tower was stabilized in 1991 with the addition of contemporary metal braces for support until funds could be raised for its full restoration. This metal bracing has reached the end of its useful lifespan and the original cast iron members have deteriorated.
This restoration will ensure the continued survival of an extraordinary remnant from our city's history. It will provide for the disassembly of the tower, testing of all components to determine structural integrity, and restoration and replacement of components as required. The project has received capital allocations of $1.75 million from Council Member Dickens, $1.25 million from Mayor Bloomberg, and $1 million from Borough President Stringer.
“When I was born I was so surprised I didn't talk for a year and a half.”
(1906 - 1964)
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