Memorialization of World War I in New York City
List of New York City spaces memorializing World War I
The Abingdon Square Doughboy is one of the many sculptures in New York City that represents the American soldiers from World War I. This is one of the ways that the city honors World War I in a public setting.
This miniature park, constructed in the shape of a triangle, is located in the Borough Park area of Brooklyn. Also named Alben Square, this humble park consists of a small gated area and a flagpole, bearing the American flag. Originally founded in 1926, this memorial was named after private Bud H. Alben, an American soldier who lost his life during the campaigns of 1918, and serves to commemorate all of the sons of Brooklyn who fell during the battles of the Great War. The American Army under General Pershing, commonly known as the Doughboys, were instrumental in the ultimate victory for the Entente Powers.
Ascenzi Square is a small park in Williamsburg, on the corners of Metropolitan Ave, N. 4th St and Roebling St. It was built to honor Joseph and William Azcenzi, two brothers who were killed in World War I. The two of them lived with their family in Williamsburg. The Square was designated on March 29, 1939, by City Council.
The Astoria Park War memorial honors the men who fought and died in World War I from the neighborhood of Long Island City. Erected in 1926, it is located on the far end of Astoria Park, along Shore Boulevard. The monument consists of a wide pedestal with a decorate stone stele. A large engraving on the pedestal features a Biblical quote from John 15:13, followed by a smaller, specific dedication.
The Washington Square Association erected the flagpole in 1920 to commemorate the neighborhood residents who lost their lives in World War I. It originally aligned with the Arch but in 1970 was moved to the east where it is located today. Unfortunately, the base of this flagpole lists only the men from the northern portion of the park's neighborhood who were predominantly WASPs. None of the predominantly Italian-American or African American residents who lived along the southern portion of the park and equally gave their lives are included.
Bordering the neighborhoods of Bushwick and Bedford-Stuyvesant, Beattie Square is dedicated to Joseph S. Beattie, a local soldier who served in the United States Army during the First World War. Beattie Square is a very small park spanning less than a tenth of an acre. It is enclosed by a black four-foot-high fence with Broadway on its northeastern side, Vernon Avenue to the south, and Stuyvesant Avenue to the west.
Widely considered to be one of the most impressive monuments in all of New York City, the Bronx Victory Memorial stands over 110 feet tall in Pelham Bay Park. It serves to honor the 947 World War 1 servicemen from the Bronx who lost their lives in the first world war. It was erected in 1932 and dedicated in 1933.
The Doughboy Statue at Chelsea Park was dedicated on April 7, 1921 after being donated by the Chelsea Memorial Committee. Its dimensions are 14'3" in height, 8' in width, and 5'6" in depth. The statue portrays a bronze figure on a pedestal in front of a wall. The figure depicts a soldier holding a rifle with a flag over his shoulders in the scene of a battle. It is named the "Doughboy" Statue because US infantrymen during World War I were referred to as doughboys, and the term itself was used during the Mexican-American war in 1846-1848 as well. After WWI, nine doughboy statues were erected in NYC parks. There is an inscription on the statue which says: "TO / THE SOLDIERS / AND SAILORS / OF CHELSEA / WORLD WAR / 1914-1918"
The Clinton War Memorial honors the young men of Hell's Kitchen who died in World War I. It is located in the De Witt Clinton Park of Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan. Dedicated on June 8, 1930, the memorial consists of a statue of an infantryman ("doughboy") holding peonies and a rifle, as well as an engraved foundation. The foundation features the 1915 poem, "In Flanders Fields," as well as a dedication on the rear of the memorial.
Centering around Monroe St, Pike St, and Cherry Street, the Coleman Playground honors Corporal Joseph Francis Coleman. Coleman entered World War 1 as a member of the 82nd division of the American Expeditionary Force.
Corporal Frank F. Fagan Square honors a World War I veteran that was born in Astoria, Queens. In 1917, he enlisted in Philadelphia as a Marine in the 43rd Company of the 5th Regiment and served until 1919. New York City Parks acquired the site on June 18, 1915 and the square was named for Corporal Fagan on May 3, 1932.
This monument is located on Jamaica Ave and Cleveland Street in Highland Park in Brooklyn. This monument was created in 1928 by Pietro Montana, an Italian-American sculptor. It is a figure of bronze color on a pedestal. The monument is to honor those in the local community who served the United States in World War I. The statue is of a man standing face turned skyward who has unveiled as a spirit and has his dead corpse on his shoulders like a blanket.
Nestled between the hustle and bustle of main street Tremont, a neighborhood in the Bronx, Devanney Triangle is a small park named after Private Patrick J. Devanney. Devanney served in Company E of the 308th Infantry during World War I. The park was dedicated to the private on May 22nd 1940 to “pay tribute to the memory of one who made the supreme sacrifice in the World War.” Devanney was wounded in the war and later died from his injuries just weeks before the war ended. The park features lots of green space, and multiple sitting benches.
Located between West 150th Street and St.Nicholas Place, Donnellan Square is a small park in Hamilton Heights, New York. The memorial was created to commemorate Private Timothy Donnellan, who was a resident of Hamilton Heights. Donellan was an Irish immigrant who came to the United States in 1916. Donnellan enlisted himself to serve in the 69th Infantry of New York.
The Dorrance Brooks Square is a park named in honor of Dorrance Brooks (d. 1918), an African American soldier who died in France shortly before the end of World War I. A native of Harlem and the son of a Civil War veteran, Brooks was a Private First Class in the 15th Infantry. Brooks was praised for his “signal bravery” in leading the remnants of his company after his superior officers were killed.
The Dover Patrol Monument was given to the park as a gift by Sir Aston Webb, the English architect that designed the original Dover Patrol Monument located at St. Margaret's Bay in England, along with another replica that stands today in Cap Blanc-Nez, France. It stands at 75 feet tall and is made up of grey granite blocks. It has four sides, three with inscriptions and one with a shield-like mantle on what seems like a window. It is an exact replica of the original and was initially located in Fort Hamilton until 1961, when it was moved to the John Paul Jones Park in order to facilitate the construction of the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge.
During the 1920s, hundreds of plaques were dedicated alongside trees that were planted along Eastern Parkway. These trees and plaques each honored one Brooklyn resident who had lost his life during the Great War, known today as World War I. The plaques contained the soldiers name and information about their service. As a century has passed, many of these plaques have been stolen or destroyed and some of the trees have been removed by the city.
The Eternal Light Flagstaff is a public monument in New York City’s Madison Square Park dedicated to American soldiers from New York that served in World War One. The flagstaff and granite pedestal was erected on the site that the returning soldiers were officially received in 1918 after their service overseas. The monument was dedicated on Armistice Day 1918, exactly five years after the end of the war. On the top of the flagpole is an illuminated star, lit at all times in remembrance of the American soldiers that gave their lives in the war. The base is inscribed with dedications to the soldiers and the names of major actions that American soldiers participated in in the First World War.
Finn Square, located in Tribeca, was dedicated to Private Finn who died in action during World War I. This was the first park to be named after and dedicated to New York casualties of World War I. Through community initiatives in 1998, the park was revived and transformed into an attractive green space.
Located in the southern tip of the Flushing Fields public park, the Flushing World War Memorial recognizes local residents who died in First World War. Their names are inscribed in a bronze plaque centered within the granite monument. Benches of the same material encompass both sides of the monument. Several steps away lies a smaller stone plaque, naming a few key individuals responsible for the development of the park and the memorial.
Fifty-three oak trees were planted along Forest Park Drive in April 1919, with 17 more added in later years, to honor the young men Woodhaven lost in the First World War. The trees were at the center of annual Memorial Day parades until 1942, when the parade was rerouted to other parts of Woodhaven. Over the following decades, the celebrations involving the Memorial Trees stopped, and the trees’ significance was eventually forgotten. In 2015, the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society rediscovered the trees and revived the tradition of tying ribbons around the many Memorial Trees still standing today.
A bronze nine-foot-tall statue of a U.S. soldier holding a bayonet commemorates the men of the 14th Infantry who fought in World War I. The statues stands in front of the Park Slope Armory, formerly known as the 14th Regiment Armory. The statue is at the front the building, on the corner of 15th Street and Eighth Avenue in Brooklyn, New York City, New York.
Freedom Triangle is located between the busy avenues of Bushwick and Mytrle in the heart of the bustling borough of Bushwick in NYC. The monument commemorates the Brooklyn soldiers who lost their lives while serving overseas in the First World War.
This bronze figure was made in 1919 to commemorate soldiers from the communities of Bushwhick or Ridgewood who fought in the first World War. The figure was sculpted by Italian-American artist Pietro Montana (1890–1978) and was the first of six so called "Doughboy" status of his to be displayed publicly, with the other being located in Suffern, New York, Riverdale, New Jersey, North Arlington, New Jersey, Wanaque, New Jersey, and Alliance, Ohio. The sculpture was unveiled in 1921 following parades and and placement of floral wreaths around its base, as per tradition floral wreaths remain at the base of the statue. Following the parade and ceremonial removal of the shroud by daughters of the soldiers, the statue was officially offered to Mayor John F. Hylan by Municipal Court Judge Harrison Glore, chairman of the monument committee. $7,000 dollars of the statues funding was provided by citizens of Bushwick and Ridgewood contributed $7,000 towards the commission, which adjusted for inflation is $102,425.70, with the rest of the funding coming from the city. The statue underwent cleaning and renovation after sustaining considerable wear and tear in 2001.
In 1920, this plot of land was donated to the City of New York and named Hero Park, in honor of the 144 Staten Island men who were killed in the Great War. Sugar Loaf Rock, the most prominent feature located towards the center of the park, has been adorned with several plaques (pictured below) which honor the men by name and further emphasize the Staten Island heritage of these brave men.
Hillcrest Veterans Square is a public park located in Fresh Meadows, Queens, New York City. Although it’s designated as a “Square,” it is a triangle-shaped public park that contains a monument erected by Hillcrest Post No. 1078 of the American Legion. In 2005, the park’s original monument to the veterans was replaced by a new design with more detail yet included a plaque from the original monument along with excerpts from the poem “We Shall Keep the Faith” by Moina Michael. Its mention of the poppies growing in Flanders Fields inspired the use of this flower as a symbol of remembrance for those who fought in the First World War. In addition to the monument, Hillcrest Veterans Square contains a flagpole and a red maple tree.
The John Purroy Mitchel Plaque located 90th Street and 5th Avenue entrance to Central Park honors the city's youngest mayor who served in office from 1914-1917. At the easter side of Central Park's reservoir the memorial contains a bust of Mitchel, alongside a steele and ornamental wall. After failing to be reelected, Mitchel enlisted in the Army aviation corps during World War I. Known and admired for his honesty and strong reform within the city of New York, the memorial recognizes his service to both his city and his country.
Ketchum Triangle is a trapezoid-shaped park in Brooklyn honoring Archibald Ketchum, a New York City Alderman and veteran of the First World War. Ketchum Triangle was established in 1928 and renovated in 2000. The park features crabapple and linden trees and a plaque commemorating Ketchum.
Located in Washington Heights, this park commemorates Private William McKenna, who served for the US during the First World War as part of an anti-aircraft battalion and who died from wounds received during the Battle of the Argonne Forest in 1918 near Reciecourt, France. Before the war, he lived near here on West 173rd St. The site was officially named for him by the New York City Board of Aldermen on July 8, 1924, 6 years after McKenna's death.
This monument was dedicated in 1920 and was dedicated in honor of men from the East Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn who died in World War I. The statue depicts an eagle perched on top of a globe above a three-sided stone pillar, two sides of which list the names of the fallen soldiers.
Mitchel Square is a small urban park in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, New York. It is enclosed by Broadway to the west and St Nicholas Avenue to the east. The park is named after John Purroy Mitchel, who became the second youngest mayor of New York in 1914, and later died in a training mission as a pilot in the Army Aviation Corps. The park features a memorial plaque in honor of Mitchel and a statue honoring the men from the neighborhood who gave their lives in World War I.
The Pleasant Plains Plaza Monument is a statue that honors the fifth ward residents who fought in World War 1, as well as the thirteen men who lost their lives. The first statue was dedicated in 1923. It consists of a woman holding up a palm frond and a sword, and standing on top of a globe. At her feet is a bald eagle with it's wings outstretched.
Private Sonsire Triangle is located in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York at the cross-section of Union Avenue, Roebling Street, and North 11th Street. The Triangle contains a sign to commemorate the service and death of Private Frank Sonsire who fought for the United States Army during World War One. The Triangle was dedicated on June 6th 1938.
The Proctor-Hopson Circle is a traffic island in South Jamaica, Queens that was named in honor of John Proctor and Arthur Hopson. Proctor and Hopson were members of the 369th Infantry of the National Guard, also known as the Harlem Rattlers. Proctor and Hopson were residents of Jamaica and were the first men in the regiment from Queens to die in World War I. The local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars named their facility in memory of the veterans to become the Proctor-Hopson Post 1896. The Proctor-Hopson VFW Post held a dedication ceremony with a parade of 1,500 attendees on October 23, 1932 to rename the traffic island in honor of Proctor and Hopson.
Located in the southeast corner of prospect park, Prospect Park War Memorial is an 18-foot wall with six plaques spanning the memorial's width of 35 feet. The monument seeks to honor the residents of Brooklyn who fought and died in Europe during the First World War. Sculptor Augustus Lukeman placed the Angel of Death embracing a disarmed soldier within the larger monument which was designed by architect Arthur Pickering. William H. Todd donated the funds to make the monument possible.
One of nine so-called "doughboy" statues found throughout New York City parks. This particular one depicts a solemn and contemplative rifle and helmet-bearing soldier with downcast eyes, known sometimes by the affectionate moniker "My Buddy." The monument in total contains a doughboy statue, a commemorative flagstaff and a small oval plaza dedicated to one of Richmond Hill's own distinguished soldiers.
This statue was commissioned in 1920 by the Citizen's Memorial Committee to honour those from the neighbourhood who died in combat during World War I. The statue honours 105 men who died overseas, and one woman who died at a local recruitment station (Lillian Patterson). The statue depicts a woman holding a shield in one hand and a palm frond in the other to represent war and peace. The statue is lined on either side by plaques containing an honour roll casualties. The entire statue is mounted on a rectangular concrete base.
The triangle commemorates Joyce Kilmer, one of the most famous Americans to die in combat during World War I. Before going off to war, Joyce Kilmer wrote the well-known poem “Trees,” which expresses his love for nature, and was widely read. The benches under the trees in the triangle are similar to the atmosphere that Kilmer sat in when writing many of his poems. In addition to his writing, Kilmer is remembered for his extreme bravery and unwavering commitment to the war.
Erected in 2006 on 5th Avenue and 142nd street, the 369th Infantry Regiment Memorial obelisk honors the all-black Harlem Hellfighter’s regiment that served the United States’ allies in World War One. Being the first American unit to earn the Croix de Guerre -- the highest ranking award in the French military -- the 369th fought bravely and brought pride and honor to not just the United States, but African Americans as a whole.
The Washington Heights - Inwood War Memorial is located in Mitchel Square Park, on the intersection of Broadway and St. Nicholas Avenue between 167th and 168th Street. The bronze monument is composed of three soldiers, two of which are helping the third during battle. The Memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1922 to honor the men that perished in World War I and lived in the Northern Manhattan communities of Washington Heights and Inwood. The Memorial includes the names of all the fallen soldiers from the community on plaques surrounding the three oversized figures.
William McCray Playground is a war memorial playground located at the borders between East and West Harlem, 45 W 138 St. With the support of the Police Department and the War Memorial Fund, the city built this playground and opened it on July 15, 1934. The establishment of the playground was a part of New Deal Projects (1934-43), which included expanding the number of playgrounds in the city. The war memorial playgrounds, including William McCray Playground, were dedicated in an official ceremony after the expansion. After its first opening, the playground continued to expand in 1989 and 1992 and doubled its size of the original space. In 1994, the city installed more play equipment, benches, and game tables, which each of them is marked with a commemorative tablet to honor the soldiers who sacrificed themselves in the war.
The Winfield War Memorial, also called Victorious America, is a sculpture that was built and placed initially between Queens Boulevard and Fisk Avenue in 1926 but is now on the corner of 65th Place and Laurel Hill Boulevard. Its purpose is to commemorate seven men who came from the town of Winfield and served in World War I. The monument was sculpted by James Novelli and was sponsored by the Winfield Honor Roll Association.
York Avenue is located in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York, New York. The street is named after one of the most famous American World War I veterans, Alvin Cullum York. York is known for his bravery in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of 1918. After his service, York maintained a high level of notoriety including being the subject of the film with box-office success _Sergeant York_ (1941).
Located in the Bronx on the southern side of Britton Street between Barker and Olinville Avenues, the Zimmerman Playground stands as a memorial to Corporal Louis Zimmerman. Paid for by the War Memorial Fund, the park was one of nine War Memorial Playgrounds erected by NYC Parks and Mayor LaGuardia on July 15, 1934 intended to honor New York City natives killed in action during the Great War. In 1996 and 1997, the park was redesigned with handicap accommodations and refurbished equipment. Today, the playground remains a vibrant memorial and provides those in the Allerton community with the intended open space and family play areas.
This memorial was dedicated to soldiers who served in the United States armed services during World War I. The monument was designed by Henry Beaumont Herts and sculpted by artist Charles Cary Rumsey and dedicated in 1925.
Located just east of the Mall of New York's Central Park, the 307th Infantry Memorial Grove memorializes men who served in the First World War. The memorial includes several trees with plaques that honor the individual companies within the regiment and a boulder that memorializes the regiment as a whole. The grove took the majority of the 1920s to assemble in a series of ceremonies, in which the trees and boulder were individually added to the collective memorial.
Building 128, built inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard which functioned from 1801 to 1966, was the birthplace of all ships built in Brooklyn for World War One and World War Two. Building 128 served multiple purposes often being used as the final construction of the massive destroyers like the USS Arizona as well as for deconstructing German naval submarines after World War One. Originally built in 1899 as a steel hull that could hold many different departments simultaneously, it soon became the solely used as the primary source for metal fabrications and engine building during the war. After World War Two it became abandoned until recently when it underwent a 35-million-dollar renovation to be a focal point for new military technology for the future.
Located close to the intersection of 3rd Avenue and E 13th Street, this plaque marks a building where American anarchist Emma Goldman once resided. The plaque reads, "Emma Goldman (1869-1940) anarchist, orator and advocate of free speech and free love, lived here from 1903-1913, and published the radical magazine "Mother Earth." She was deported to the Soviet Union in 1919."
The Greenpoint War Memorial stands about 17 feet tall in the center of McGolrick Park, opened in 1891, commemorates local residents that fought in World War I. Built in 1923, this "winged lady" was cast out of bronze. Though bronze is a durable material, the sculpture has seen its fair share of damage and vandalism. Nonetheless, it received constant repairs and continues to stand tall for the fallen soldiers' collective bravery and unquestionable patriotism.
This small plot of land is located a couple of blocks away from Fort Greene Park. It was named after Naval officer Joseph Walter Person in 1951. Person served in the United States Navy during the First World War (1914-1918). He passed away at a young age before the war's end. He was buried in Queens and is today honored by this little square in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Triangle 54 is a small grassy park which serves as a traffic triangle today. The triangle is adorned with a number of trees and within the middle of the triangle lies the Laurel Hill Flagstaff. This memorial flagstaff dates back to 1930 and was originally commemorated in honor of the fallen soldiers in World War I. Today, it serves as a memorial for the soldiers of both World Wars, as well as for the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Plaque of Henri Philippe Pétain at Canyon of Heroes in NYC was established in 2004 in downtown Manhattan to commemorate Philippe Pétain’s ticker-tape parade in 1931, which he earned by commanding the French army defending the country from the Central Powers in WWI. The plaque itself was located at the intersection between Broadway and Morris Street.
Created by the intersections of Van Cortland East, 238th Street, and Oneida Avenue, and once the site of a minor revolutionary war battle, the Rita Ley Triangle now serves as a memorial for the residents of Woodlawn Heights who were enlisted in the US Army or Navy during World War I.
The Travis WW1 Memorial is a memorial dedicated to the 75 men from Travis, known as Linoleumville up until 1931, in Staten Island, who fought in WW1. The memorial is located at the intersection of Victory Boulevard and Cannon Avenue. The memorial itself consists of a stone marker depicting a doughboy carrying a gun going “over the top” and a small cannon. The back of the monument depicts the names of the nine local men who died in the war.
The Wade Triangle is a small plot of land named after Private First Class Edward A. Wade, who fought and died in World War I. The memorial is situated between Quarry Road, Oak Tree Place and Wade Square in the West Farms area of the Bronx where he once lived. In 1918, Private Wade was killed in action in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in France.
Situated in the working and middle-class neighborhood of Woodside, Queens, the Woodside Doughboy was built in 1923 to commemorate the brave local men who congregated in that very spot prior deployment to represent the United States of America in the Great War. The Woodside Doughboy resides in Doughboy Plaza, a 1.71 acre New York City park.