Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn (History)

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(Neighborhoods In Brooklyn)

neighborhoods_brooklyn_cadman_plazaCadman Plaza Park is located on the border between the Brooklyn Heights historic neighborhood and Downtown Brooklyn. It is bounded by Cadman Plaza East (Formerly Washington Street) and West (formerly Ferry Road), and by Brooklyn Bridge on the north and Tillary Street on the south.

South of this park, between Tillary and Johnson Streets, lies the small Korean War Veterans Plaza. South of Johnson, the Kings County Supreme Court Building and Columbus Park, featuring a statue of Christopher Columbus, sit on land formerly used as a station for trolley cars. These parks, together with Whitman Park, form a mall from Brooklyn Borough Hall to the Brooklyn Bridge.

A statue of William Jay Gaynor (1829–1913) is located in the northern end of Cadman Plaza Park. He was Mayor of New York City from 1910 to 1913. Beforehand, he was a journalist, a lawyer, and a New York Supreme Court justice, known for his tough stance on corruption. During his tenure as mayor, he tried to diminish the influence of Tammany Hall on city government. Gaynor was assassinated by an irate former civil servant in 1913. Gaynor was also well known for his social life, and he walked over the Brooklyn Bridge to New York City Hall and back to his home in Park Slope every day.

A 24-foot-tall (7.3 m) memorial is located in the center of the park. It honors Brooklynites who served in World War II. The memorial is designed by Charles Keck (1875–1951). It was one of the largest monuments in New York City, at its dedication in 1952.

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