October 2, By Christian Murray
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer announced last week that $1.5 million is going to spent on revitalizing Doughboy Park, up from the $750,000 that he announced would be directed to the park in June.
The initial $750,000 announced in June is going toward revitalizing the plaza area and renovating the Doughboy statue and surrounding memorials. The additional $750,000 will go toward redoing the park grounds, installing old-style lamps and possibility the addition of a serenity/prayer garden. The $1.5 million is separate to that allocated to the adjacent dog run.
Van Bramer said that he went to the council speaker Melissa Mark Viverito and requested an additional $750,000 which was granted.
“Doughboy Park is a sacred place in the heart of Woodside,” Van Bramer said. The park is located on Woodside Avenue between 54th and 56th streets.
The 1.71 acre park was established in 1923 and includes the “Doughboy” monument that commemorates those who served in World War I. Other monuments have been added since. A stone panel was installed in 2001 listing the names of the eleven major WW1 campaigns in which Americans fought, and then in 2006 a Sept. 11 memorial plaque was added dedicated to the 34 people who died in the attacks from Woodside.
The Doughboy statue was last restored in 1990 and the plaza surrounding the statue was last renovated in 2001. A Doughboy is an informal term for an American infantryman, particularly those who fought in the trenches during WW1.
Van Bramer said he expects the overhaul to be finished in about two years.