Tompkinsville Park Is June’s Park Of The MonthFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Since its founding in the 1930s, Tompkinsville Park has become an integral part of its community's landscape in Staten Island. The neighborhood of Tompkinsville spans from New York Harbor to St. Paul’s Avenue but the life of the community is concentrated near the park. As a result, Tompkinsville Park’s location has turned it into the center focus of the neighborhood's bustling community.
In order to improve and maintain the park's appearance, Tompkinsville Park underwent a $1.3 million renovation in 2007. Along with former Council Member Michael McMahon, members of Community Board #1 and the Staten Island Downtown Council, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe broke ground on the park as a part of the Parks Department’s urban revitalization initiative.
“Tompkinsville Park is one of many parks specifically used as a serene place for people to congregate within their community,” said Commissioner Benepe. “Thanks to over $1 million from Congress Member McMahon, allocated while he was in the City Council, the renovations improve the park’s landscape and its civic-themed plaza provides a gathering spot for Staten Islanders.”
A year after its renovations, the community was invited to witness the reopening of Tompkinsville Park and explore the new installments that were added to transform the area into a civic plaza. New plants and a lawn were planted and significant features such as the clocks and the fountain, which is the new centerpiece of the park, were added. New benches, trash receptacles, and a water fountain were included to better accommodate the needs of commuters who frequently stroll through the park. The park was also relined with a new steel fence bordering the the perimeter.
The Hiker statue sculpted by Allen G. Newman that honors the local soldiers of the Spanish-American War (1898-1902) is still prominently displayed in the park. The statue was modeled after foot soldiers who participated in long marches in the Cuban terrain. In the War, the United States allied with the Cubans to defeat the Spain for control of colonial power in the Western hemisphere. The Hiker in Tompkinsville Park was the official monument of the United Spanish War Veterans and was located in front of Staten Island Borough Hall. The statue was moved to Tompkinsville Park in 1925 after a series of cars hit the statue.
The origin behind the park’s name can be traced back to Daniel D. Tompkins. He was a former New York State Governor and Vice President under James Monroe who established the settlement which was to become Tompkinsville. Under former Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, the park was officially dedicated to Tompkins in 1932.
Park of the Month introduces some of our greatest parks and recreation centers to curious New Yorkers and visitors alike. Visit www.nyc.gov/parks for more information about Tompkinsville Park and an archive for past featured parks.
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