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

Coronavirus update for NYC
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.

RELATED | What New Yorkers need to know about the Delta variant
EMBED More News Videos

Dr. Jay Varma, infectious disease specialist, and NYC Health Commissioner, Dr. Dave Chokshi, discuss what New Yorkers need to know about the emerging Delta variant.

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.

national geographic covid newsletter sign up


New York City COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

New Jersey COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker
How to get the vaccine in NYC, Tri-State area
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

Submit a News Tip or Question
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.