Henry Hudson Park”Historic Signage/ Team Effort

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    • #2524
      COGGINSS
      Participant

      After attending the Revolutionary Spuyten Duyvil and Kingsbridge tour on June 12th, led by Nick Dembowski, and then becoming a member of the Stewards of Henry Hudson Park, I wondered why there was no historic signage describing the extensive history of the site where the park now sits, and since the park was established.

      In October 2021, I contacted Jonathan Kuhn, Director of Arts and Antiquities at the NYC Parks Department.  When I spoke to him, he told me that there should be historic signage for the park, but the actual signage had never been placed in the park.  I had read the previous write-up of the park on the Parks website and it seemed to be missing important details such the Native American presence, the Berrian Homestead, Fort No. 1, and the Spuyten Duyvil Baseball League.

      I contacted Nick Dembowski and asked him if he could coordinate with Mr. Kuhn on updating the text for the updated signage.

      In addition, George Berrian, direct descendant of one of our community’s founding families the Berrians, sent me some materials to turn over to Parks. The Berrian Homestead stood until 1952 when it was demolished by the Parks Department.  A tool shed now stands on the site.

      Mr. Kuhn worked closely with Nick, and the language for the park, the memorial and the copper plaques at the base of the monument,Riverdale Press Article were successfully updated. The language for the Monument was updated with the help of the daughter of Karl Gruppe, the sculptor of the Henry Hudson statue.

      Mr. Kuhn has promised to keep me informed as to the installation of the new signage.  I would love to have a small “unveiling” ceremony coordinating the Kingsbridge Historical Society, the Stewards of Henry Hudson Park, and the Parks Department as a way of spotlighting the importance of historical signage, and the history of this landmark park, first by private citizens of Spuyten Duyvil in 1909 and then under Parks Commissioner Robert Moses in 1935.

      I’ve attached some photographs, including two provided by Mr. Kuhn showing his preservation interns cleaning the Memorial’s copper plaques.

       

      The language for the signage can be accessed here:

      Henry Hudson Park: https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/henry-hudson-park/history

      Henry Hudson Memorial: https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/henry-hudson-park/monuments/751

      Henry Hudson Monument Plaques: https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/henry-hudson-park/monuments/752

      NYC Parks’ Historical Signs Project: https://www.nycgovparks.org/about/history/historical-signs

    • #2525
      COGGINSS
      Participant

      Berrian Homestead

    • #2526
      COGGINSS
      Participant

      Monument

    • #2527
      COGGINSS
      Participant

      Memorial Plaque 1

    • #2528
      COGGINSS
      Participant

      Memorial Plaque 2

    • #2529
      COGGINSS
      Participant

      RP Article

    • #2530
      Thomas Casey
      Participant

      Fort #1 plaque – I should have documented where I got this from.Fort # 1 Plaque

    • #2537
      COGGINSS
      Participant

      Pardon this error, the Berrian Homestead was demolished in 1952, not 1852.

    • #2538
      Peter Ostrander
      Participant

      The bronze plaque for Fort #1 shown was originally attached to the Munchenheim mansion under a 1st floor south facing window across from the Monument. The Schievier Nursing Home planted a large bush in front of the plaque blocking its view  and subsequently removed the plaque.  When asked by the KHS  about the plaque  Schievier  assumed  no knowledge of what happened to the historic plaque removed from their house and on their property.   The KHS , as it had back in 1950 against Robert Moses and the Berrien-Johnson house, asked Schievier would they consider using some or part of the historic and oldest house in Spuyten Duyvil for a historical museum and for use by the KHS and other community groups.  The house was built about 1840-50s byt the Strang family of Westchester and in 1994 was the oldest house in Spuyten Duyvil. Schievier replied they were going to do repair on the house at the time it was used to sell 2nd hand cloths and thrift shop.  A while later in 1994 they wrapped the house in protective material subsequent to its destruction.  The KHS asked if we could do a archeological survey after they had torn down the house and this request was turned down by Schievier.  Worse part of this whole loss was that the Federal Government gave Schievier funds to build an addition to the hospital and build a parking lot over the site of Fort #1 / Munchenheim mansion.

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