Sections

Forward, arch! Grand Army Plaza’s historic structure will welcome visitors following repairs

Top job: Locals will be able to climb to the observation deck of the Soldiers and Sailors Arch at Grand Army Plaza soon thanks to a $8.9 million renovation project.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

It’s an arch revival!

Kings County sightseers can once again behold Prospect Park from above as soon as workers finish restoring the observation deck atop the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch as part of a nearly $9-million renovation of Grand Army Plaza, according to keepers of Brooklyn’s Backyard.

“On special occasions the observation deck will be opened to the public once the arch is restored,” said Deborah Kirschner, a spokeswoman for meadow steward the Prospect Park Alliance, which maintains the lawn in conjunction with the city.

Mayor DeBlasio on Friday announced the city will dedicate $8.9 million to the Alliance-led rehabilitation, which will include replacing the 125-year-old Civil War memorial’s rooftop observation deck and iron staircases leading to it from within the ancient monument.

The project also calls for repairing the arch’s stonework, revamping the lights that illuminate it, repaving parts of the plaza surrounding Bailey Fountain and John F. Kennedy Memorial, and some landscaping.

The restoration will be the first major work on the arch — which turns 126-years-old on Oct. 21 — since 1980. Its last comprehensive renovation came seven years after officials designated the structure a landmark in 1973, and roughly four years after the statue of Columbia — a goddess-like figure forefathers used to symbolize the United States — fell from its sculpted chariot atop the arch in 1976.

Less than a decade ago, locals could enter the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch to visit the Puppet Museum housed within, but that institution moved to a new home at Brooklyn College in 2010 due to leaks inside the structure, whose observation deck permanently closed to the public years before that, according to reports that Alliance officials could not immediately be reached to confirm.

Kirschner couldn’t give a timeline for the Grand Army Plaza project, but said the Alliance will host a community meeting about it in the fall before kicking off the design process and announcing a schedule for the repairs.

And the plaza isn’t the only place getting a face-lift in the area — Brooklyn Council members also allotted $1 million in taxpayer funds to the ongoing makeover of Prospect Park’s overgrown Rose Garden, outside of which, Alliance leaders plan to install one of two new Flatbush Avenue entrances going in as part of another $5.6-million upgrade.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 9:57 am, August 28, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

ty from pps says:
there better not be any confederates up there.
Aug. 28, 2018, 12:14 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: