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Curve fall: Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch cordoned off through 2021 after debris drops from it

Blockade: A cordon was put up, preventing passage through Soldiers and Sailors Arch at Grand Army Plaza.
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Mind the arch!

The area beneath Grand Army Plaza’s Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch will be off limits to locals until after a massive restoration of the monument wraps sometime in 2021, due to risk of falling debris, according to stewards of Brooklyn’s Backyard.

“At this point, the barricades are expected to remain in place until the restoration of the arch is completed,” said Deborah Kirschner, a spokeswoman for meadow conservancy the Prospect Park Alliance.

Alliance workers cordoned off the area beneath the 126-year-old arch after a small piece of mortar roughly two-inches long fell from the monument last December, Kirschner said.

The rubble did not hit anyone, but park keepers still chose to restrict access to the arch out of “an abundance of caution,” according to the spokeswoman, who said nothing has fallen since the first piece of mortar.

Alliance leaders plan to kick off a their year-long, $9-million restoration of the Civil War memorial in 2020, which includes repairing stonework throughout the ancient arch, as well as replacing its rooftop observation deck and fixing the iron staircase leading to it.

Following the city-funded repairs, locals will be able to enter the arch for the first time since leaders of the Puppet Museum that formerly occupied space inside it moved their institution to Brooklyn College in 2010.

The restoration project also calls for sprucing up the pavement around the arch, and installing landscaping and lights around the plaza’s Bailey Fountain.

Workers last repaired the arch, which turns 127-years-old on Oct. 21, in 1980, seven years after the city designated the structure a landmark, and roughly four years after the statue of Columbia — a goddess-like figure symbolizing the United States — fell from its sculpted chariot atop the monument in 1976.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 11:20 am, February 25, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Grandiose from Brooklyn says:
Grandiose to see the Grand Army Plaza finally get repaired after all these years under the "care and disrepair" of LPC. While LPC is a predator on the backs of homeowners used as their funding stream, they don't even look after our most relevant historic structures that are within their own domain. Hope the viewing platform gets restored for public access as it was intended to be by the people that donated it for "we the people" to enjoy.
Feb. 25, 1:29 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Tear that racist memorial down. Nobody cares about it and the only use it gets is from transplant interlopers who use it for instagram duck-face photos.
Feb. 25, 4:45 pm
Eddie R from Heights says:
Everything is racist and everybody who does not agree with you is called a racist. Lets get back to loving each other even if we disagree.
Feb. 25, 5:43 pm
Patrick Kinsella from BAY Ridge says:
Yea it represents a turning point I. Our history when we were killing each each other so.tear it down sobering markers of history and a country that had to be United and of course its racist.What kills me is tounprobly have some formal education. But you would never ow it. Lots of air heads like you that do not understand history
Feb. 25, 6:10 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Not even sure why some troll is making such a dumbass comment using my username, but vision zero is gonna do vision zero things. Perhaps some of that debris landed on his head.
Feb. 25, 7:15 pm
Mary R from Park Slope says:
What is not included in the restoration is any work on the sidewalks around the berms. Take a walk around and you will find all sorts of garbage (household and litter), decrepit and broken benches, crumbling and uneven sidewalks (a lawsuit waiting to happen), dog feces throughout the cobblestones, thousands of cigarette butts, and people entering the closed off berms through the fence holes at night. While it will be nice to have something finally done to restore the “instagrammable” interior of Grand Army Plaza for tourists, the restoration plan leaves a lot to be desired around the oval. The city should just consider renaming it Army Plaza if they’re going to keep ignoring the areas of the park that Brooklyn residents actually use.
Feb. 26, 12:31 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
What does Spike Lee think about this? He is my hero for telling Trump off.
Feb. 26, 1:31 pm
slick from Flatbush says:
I'm curious how it's a racist memorial. Unlike the memorials in the South, this memorial celebrates Union soldiers.
Feb. 28, 9:46 pm

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