Debate grows over where to place monument dedicated to essential workers in Manhattan

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ByEyewitness News via WABC logo
Thursday, July 8, 2021
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Community Board One was looking for public comment. On Wednesday night, over a zoom call with residents, they got an earful.

LOWER MANHATTAN, Manhattan (WABC) -- There's growing debate about where New York City should put a monument dedicated to essential workers.

Community Board One was looking for public comment. On Wednesday night, over a Zoom call with residents, they got an earful.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's Office is trying to pack a hastily designed and wholly inadequate memorial to pandemic first responders and frontline workers, into the already limited free space in Battery Park.

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The governor first said the 'Circle of Heroes' monument should go to one location, but he backed off amid a howl of public outcry.

On Wednesday night, a representative for the Battery Park City authority listened and residents made it clear, the design is hackneyed, and the two proposed new locations aren't any better than the first.

"Really every square inch has a current use and so any location you pick is going to change whatever the current use is," said one resident.

Particularly troubling to many here, is the proposed eternal flame fueled by a propane tank.

"We do not want a gas flame anywhere," said one resident.

One of the question's asked was -- what's the hurry?

Memorials like this often take years to design. The governor intends to have this one completed by Labor Day.

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