NYC’s top ten memorials: the 9/11 Memorial and more
As Beatles buffs prepare to mark the anniversary of John Lennon’s death on Sunday 8 at Strawberry Fields, we round up the best structures that honor the fallen
Fri Dec 6 2013
Illustration: Jeff Lance
The two massive waterfalls cascading down the footprints of where the Twin Towers stood make for a breathtaking commemoration of the nearly 3,000 people killed during the 1993 and 2001 attacks. Ground Zero’s reinvention will be complete when the National September 11 Memorial Museum opens in spring 2014.
- Enter at Albany and Greenwich Sts
That song claims “nothing is real,” but the iconic imagine mosaic and surrounding idyllic greenery aren’t a mirage. The attraction was dedicated to Lennon in 1985, on what would have been his 45th birthday.
- Central Park West, (at 72nd St)
3. General Grant National Memorial
The pure size and grandiosity of this pillared and domed granite-and-marble mausoleum—the largest in North America—begs one question: How big was the Civil War leader, anyway? 212-870-3070, riversideparkfund.org
- Riverside Park, enter at Riverside Dr and 122nd St
4. Amiable Child Monument
This far less massive grave sits just west of Grant’s tomb. We know that young St. Claire Pollock was laid to rest beneath this twice-restored granite funeral urn in 1797, having perished from a fall before reaching his sixth birthday. And yes, we presume he was pretty damn amiable.
5. African Burial Ground National Monument
The remains—some dating back to the early slave trade in the 1690s—of 419 Africans and African-Americans were discovered on a lower-Manhattan construction site in 1991. This amphitheater-style structure honoring them received landmark status two years later. nps.gov/afbg
- 290 Broadway between Reade and Duane Sts
6. Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch
This huge triumphal arch, unveiled in 1892 complete with bronze reliefs of Abe Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant, serves as a de facto entrance to Prospect Park and salutes the lost heroes of the Civil War. A bust of JFK was added to the plaza in 1965.
- 20 Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
True to its name, the institution offers visitors the opportunity to explore 20th- and 21st-century Jewish history.
- 36 Battery Pl, (at 1st Pl)
This pastoral site commemorates the victims of the Great Irish Famine of 1845–52, and all its plant life and stones were imported directly from the Emerald Isle.
- 290 Vesey St, (at North End Ave)
Completed in 2012 to honor our 32nd President and his famed triumph-of-idealism “Four Freedoms” speech, the green space is situated at the southern tip of Roosevelt Island—just a short paddle from the U.N.
- Roosevelt Island
10. King Jagiello Monument
This statue of the revered 14th-century monarch was originally part of Poland’s exhibition at the 1939 World’s Fair in Queens. The Nazis invaded Poland shortly thereafter, preventing the country’s contingent—statue included—from returning home. The bronze monument was given to NYC in 1945. 212-310-6600, centralparknyc.org
- Central Park, enter at Fifth Ave and 79th St
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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)