Two sites in BPC now being considered for the monument

The Battery Park City Authority, working with the governor’s office (or vice versa) now has two sites on the table for the monument to essential workers, now that the lawn at Rockefeller Park is scratched.

The options given at the CB1 Battery Park City meeting last night were Esplanade Plaza (above), where the volleyball court is on the south side of the North Cove Marina (this was one of the sites considered for the Hurricane Maria memorial) or the lawn on the south side of the Irish Hunger Memorial, between North End Avenue and the Esplanade.

These two were whittled down from a list of nine that were considered by the BPCA but never offered as an option to the select group of residents and elected officials that got a sneak preview on Tuesday. That list also included:

  • Stuyvesant Plaza
  • Murray Street Triangle
  • Belvedere Plaza
  • Top of South Cove (just south of South End Avenue terminus)
  • West of western terminus of 2nd Place
  • Eastern Boundary walkway
  • Pier A Plaza

On Tuesday, the BPCA met with a dozen or so members of the newly formed Battery Park City Neighborhood Association, as well as members of CB1, representatives from the governor’s office and elected officials to fill them in on these options. Since these meetings were not public, I can’t tell you what the discussion looked like there. Nick Sbordone, the authority’s press representative, called it “a productive working meeting with a broad range of community stakeholders to look at a broad range of sites.”

But one person at the meeting said most residents were advocating for either the Pier A Plaza or the area near the carousel, but that those were off the table at the meeting. (The BPCA has a leasehold at Pier A, but that is actually EDC property and I would like to think the city would know better than to put a monument to essential workers in Lower Manhattan. And of course the carousel is on NYC parkland, so also not an option in this discussion.)

I am a bit baffled by these renderings, which seem to show the same thing only different using the same elements at each site, just slightly reconfigured: red ornamental maples, brass boxes of some kind, flag poles and, what looks like this time, a flame in a box. It just seems like not a lot of thought is being given to the context of the site or the design. Of course the power move here is still to take the monument to a neighborhood that really wants it. As N. said, “It really would be so much better in a place closer to the people who gave the most.”

Also just noting: the state will have to change the name now from the Circle of Heroes…



  1. And residents that were architects, monument historians and landcape designers said they made no sense, would not work and were an embarassment

  2. Maybe the state/BPCA looked at Belvedere Plaza & thought, “Nah, that looks too much like our rendering already. If we put it there, we can’t pay someone a couple million $$ on new trees & brick//pave.”

  3. Why would South Cove be considered? There is already a small and subtle 9/11 Memorial there.

  4. The Oblong of Heroes doesn’t have the same ring.

  5. I’m not sure what they mean by “Eastern Boundary walkway” but if it’s the walkway along Little West Street that long-timers know as Patakistan (because it was foisted on us by former Governor Pataki and it’s deserted most of the time)—does anyone know why that was removed from consideration?

    • Governor George E. Pataki and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2006 opened the West Street Promenade. Dedicated and Named for George Pataki 53rd governor of New York (1995–2006). I believe it is a co-manage with the DOT/City .

  6. This is so utterly half-assed, and destructive of existing parkland. What an embarrassment. If Cuomo could slow down and stop trying to buy cheap votes for five minutes, he’d realize how misconceived this whole project was from the start. There’s a lovely and moving monument in Hong Kong to the doctors who fought SARS…why not take a look at that, and see how it might be done in a sensitive and dignified fashion. The plans so far all look like they might be old WWI memorials. Hideous and inappropriate – and destructive to our existing and treasured open public space. An “eternal flame”?! Really?! God awful, trite, idiotic.

    • Cuomo’s doing everything he can to distract from the allegations he faces. The book, the memorial – he’s clinging to the goodwill he created during the height of the pandemic and trying to paper over his administration’s coverup of nursing home deaths and allegations of sexual harassment. Well it ain’t gonna work. Can’t use our neighborhood for that.

  7. If the Governor’s choice of the grassy knoll for this memorial was reckless this is now verging on unhinged.

    This park is already a Memorial soup. Its an absurdity to look at the plan that puts this adjacent to the Irish hunger museum.
    If this is to be a monument honoring our essential workers of Covid, then why are we still talking about this location, which has the least context of perhaps anywhere in the city?

    Governor Cuomo, please roll up your sleeves, swallow your pride and work through this with our mayor instead of the easy sidestep this park provides you. Do the right thing and honor the workers where the workers and families most deeply affected by this horrible virus actually worked, and suffered.

    The only person you are honoring in this location is yourself.

  8. The best location for this ill conceived excuse for a monument is NO PLACE. Who designed this travesty and how was this “artist” selected? Why not a competition for an entirely new design that does not incorporate dangerous features and does work well with the environment both holistically and safely?