Nov. 6, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
The New York City Parks Dept. has officially started work on a $1.8 million overhaul of the plaza at Doughboy Park.
Queens Parks Commissioner Michael Dockett and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer officially broke ground at the plaza Thursday, which is located on the corner of Woodside Avenue between 54th and 56th streets.
The plaza, which pays tribute to fallen soldiers who gave up their lives in combat, is undergoing a major revamp more than three years after Van Bramer allocated city funds for the project.
The city is replacing the pavement with a bluestone surface and the distinctive white and green-colored walls are being covered with a granite veneer.
A new water fountain is being installed and other features include additional benches, two additional planting areas and more trees.
The area will have better lighting, with a focus on illuminating the U.S. flag. There will be retro-style lamps added and the Doughboy statue restored, according to the plans.
Dockett said that the plaza will serve as an inviting green space for passive recreation and reflection once the work is completed.
“Doughboy Plaza is a charming and historic neighborhood jewel that offers a peaceful green oasis in Woodside,” Dockett said.
The 1.71-acre park was established in 1923 and includes the “Doughboy” monument that commemorates local residents 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 that the plaza honors those who have died in service to the nation and the revamp will make the space much more inviting.
“I’m thrilled to have fought for this great park in Woodside and excited to see construction start,” Van Bramer said.
The total cost of the project is $1.87 million and it is expected to be completed in Sept. 2021.