FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 6, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG OPENS TRIBUTE PARK IN THE ROCKAWAYS
Memorial Park Created to Commemorate Those Lost on September 11th
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today joined Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Rockaway Chamber of Commerce President John Lepore, and representatives from Community Board 14 to open Tribute Park in the Rockaways to honor those who lost their lives on September 11th. The City park is located on Beach 116th Street and Beach Channel Drive and features a mosaic centerpiece, a "Fireman's Walk" and a granite rock engraved with the names of all 343 firefighters who gave their lives on September 11th.
"Today we dedicate a beautiful memorial park to honor those we lost on September 11th," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The Rockaways is a perfect place for Tribute Park as 75 members of this community gave their lives on September 11th - more than any other neighborhood in the City. I want to thank the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce, the Tribute Park Committee, and other members of the community who helped transform this land on the edge of Jamaica Bay into a park for everyone to enjoy."
"On this site overlooking Jamaica Bay, area residents gathered to watch the tragedy unfold in Lower Manhattan. Later, it became a place to remember the Rockaway residents who perished that day," said Commissioner Benepe. "Four years later, we recognize the significance of the important role this site played, and honor those who gave their lives through the creation of Tribute Park."
"This park is a wonderful example of the collaboration between community and government. Work elements have been donated by community-based businesses, artists, associations and private citizens working together for the common goal of creating a place of retreat, reflection and commemoration on the shore of Jamaica Bay," said John Lepore.
Tribute Park was completed at a cost of $630,000 with allocations of $225,000 from Council Member Joseph Addabbo, $250,000 from Assembly Member Audrey Pheffer, $75,000 from the Mayor's Executive budget, and more than $80,000 raised locally.
The Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways, Inc. and the Tribute Park Committee first approached Parks & Recreation to request that this site on the edge of Jamaica Bay, where hundreds gathered to watch the World Trade Center towers fall on the morning of September 11th, become a memorial park.
The Chamber of Commerce solicited the required funding for the project, and commissioned public garden designer Lynden Miller to design the park. Tribute Park features a mosaic centerpiece pointing directly at Lower Manhattan, a central path containing custom-inscribed memorial bricks designated "Fireman's Walk," a breathtaking pavilion with a stained-glass dome, and a granite rock carved in the shape of a fireman's helmet engraved with the names of all 343 firefighters who gave their lives on September 11th.
The firefighter's memorial, mosaic centerpiece, and pavilion were designed by artist Patrick Clark. Clark's memorial elements were selected through a competition held by the Rockaway Chamber of Commerce. Miller worked with local gardener Nadia Murphy to select the plants for Tribute Park's lush gardens. Benches were installed and an American flag proudly waves within the park's wrought iron gates.
The project's scope of work was performed under the supervision of the Rockaway Chamber and Project Coordinator Dan Mundy. General contractor Quigg Development Corporations installed the walkways, benches and other construction elements along with Malbro Construction.
Edward Skyler/Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Warner Johnston (Parks & Recreation)
John Lepore (Rockaway Chamber) (917) 776-3472