Borough President Helen Marshall is pushing to replace a controversial statue on Queens Boulevard with a public plaza to honor New York City women.
The Triumph of Civic Virtue statue, which depicts Hercules with the sirens of Vice and Corruption, has been standing in Kew Gardens since 1941, after Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia moved it from City Hall Park. Known as “Fat Boy” or “Rough Boy,” the monument, fashioned by Frederick MacMonnies in 1919, has been denounced by some as sexist and in recent years fell into disrepair.
And now that the artwork is moving to Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, Marshall says the space should be used to honor the city's women.
The statue should be replaced, she said, by “a public space that will honor outstanding women that have contributed in one way or another to the city of New York.”
The names of women may be inscribed on the base of the statue, which could remain along with a fountain in the proposed memorial, Marshall said. The redesigned space would also feature seating and landscaping.
Marshall's vision of the public plaza is in the early stages, however. Her chief of staff, Alexandra Rosa, said the borough president has discussed the idea with the Parks Department, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the Mayor's office.
It was too early to put a price tag on the plaza, Rosa said. Still, the mayor's office was "receptive" to the idea, she said.
I picture a Mount Rushmore-style monument featuring likenesses of Marshall, Stavisky, Shulman and Meng...
Here's info about a rally today at Borough Hall:
Council Member Peter F. Vallone Jr. will join Community Board 9 Chair Andrea Crawford, District Manager Mary Ann Carey and residents of Queens at a rally protesting the City Design Commission’s recent ruling to permanently relocate the Triumph of Civic Virtue statue to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn from Queens Borough Hall. The cemetery has stated that the statue may be moved in the next week!
The Design Commission ruled on November 13th to move the statue without input from the public, despite most Queens residents wanting the sculpture to remain in the borough. Community Board 9, which has always supported keeping Civic Virtue in Queens, is also greatly disappointed by the decision and the lack of consultation with residents and community leaders.
WHAT: Triumph of Civic Virtue Rally
WHEN: Saturday, December 8th, 11:30 AM
WHERE: In front of statue, next to Queens Borough Hall (120-55 Queens Boulevard, Kew Gardens)