For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 18, 2023
NEW YORK, NY – The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) Commissioner Manuel Castro, NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue, NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez and diverse immigrant communities today announced the naming of the historic Immigrant Heritage Plaza located south of Bowling Green Park.
"I am incredibly proud of the collaboration between city agencies, Bowling Green Association, and all our community partners for the naming of Immigrant Heritage Plaza,” said Manuel Castro, Commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “This plaza will serve as a reminder of the countless contributions that immigrants have made to our city throughout its history, and as a source of inspiration to future generations of immigrants and New Yorkers.”
“We’re proud to rename this plaza “Immigrant Heritage Plaza” in collaboration with our great partners at our sister agencies, and the Bowling Green Association,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “The renaming of Immigrant Heritage Plaza sends a strong message about the importance of immigrants to our city’s past, present, and future.”
“Our streets and public plazas are sacred areas where we not only move about, but where we celebrate our city’s rich cultures. That is why I am proud to support Commissioner Castro of the Mayor’s office of Immigrant Affairs for the historic naming of Immigrant Heritage Plaza,” said NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We will continue doing our part to ensure we’re protecting, honoring, and representing the immigrant communities of New York City.”
Originally known as “Public Place” within Bowling Green Park, Immigrant Heritage Plaza, will also receive a commemorative plaque.
In 2022, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs hosted over 15 events at Bowling Green Park to celebrate the heritage of immigrant communities in New York City, including the African Union countries, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Haiti, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Pakistan, The Philippines, The Dominican Republic, Peru, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and more.
Building from these events, Immigrant Heritage Plaza will honor all immigrants who built New York City, beginning with the first immigrant who arrived, Juan Rodriguez. Juan Rodriguez originally from the Spanish colony of La Española (today the Dominican Republic and the Republic of Haiti) arrived in the Hudson Harbor in 1613 on board a Dutch ship.
Nearly 40 percent of all current U.S. citizens can trace at least one of their ancestors back to New York City. Immigrant Heritage Plaza will serve as a place of celebration and reflection of immigrant roots for Americans across the country and recently arrived New Yorkers.