State to form committee for essential workers
monument in Battery Park City
BY KEVIN DUGGAN
Offi cials will convene a new committee
to decide where to put
Governor Andrew Cuomo’s
proposed $3 million “Circle of Heroes”
monument honoring essential workers after
Battery Park City residents and politicians
protested the state’s original plans.
“To continue incorporating public feedback
into the process, we will put together
a new and expanded advisory committee
comprised of local stakeholders, essential
worker representatives, and others to review
options within Battery Park City to
select a site and design for a welcome and
world-class monument our essential workers
so richly deserve,” said George Tsunis,
chairman of the state-controlled Battery
Park City Authority.
Tsunis previously told locals that the
authority would back off Cuomo’s plans to
install the tribute at Rockefeller Park on
July 2, after heated community backlash.
Cuomo fi rst announced the proposal on
June 23 as a somber installationin the park
along Manhattan’s lower west side with
19 red maple trees symbolizing different
A rendering of the Circle of Heroes memorial to essential workers proposed
for Battery Park City.
groups of essential workers and an eternal
fl ame refl ecting New York’s forever gratitude
Bulldozers soon arrived in the park
and construction was supposed to wrap
by Labor Day, Sept. 6, but area residents
immediately slammed the plans for including
the felling of half a dozen mature trees
and destroying a cherished green space, all
without input from locals.
Families camped out in the park to
block the heavy machinery and launched
an online petition to relocate the memorial,
which gathered more than 8,000 signatures
as of Monday.
The neighborhood already has a wealth
of memorials to various crises, the petition
notes, including a tribute to Hurricane
Maria, an Irish Hunger memorial, the
9/11 Memorial, the American Merchant
Mariners’ Memorial, and the East Coast
Memorial, both of which honor those who
fought in World War II.
Because Battery Park City is controlled
by the state authority, it allows Governor
Cuomo to bypass city approval processes
The back-and-forth echoed Cuomo’s
Marsha P. Johnson State Park debacle in
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, earlier this year,
when state offi cials abandoned plans for a
splashy mural to honor the park’s namesake
LGBTQ icon after locals and family of
Johnson’s denounced it as a vanity project
for the governor.
Local politicians hailed the authority and
Cuomo’s decision to halt the project gather
more input from the area.
“In a triumph for the community, Battery
Park City Authority will be establishing an
advisory committee that includes local stakeholders
to examine the location and design of
the proposed Essential Workers Monument
for Battery Park City. I appreciate the agency
being willing to listen to residents,” wrote
Congressman Jerry Nadler on Twitter.
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Schneps Media July 15, 2021 11