City Cleans Up Vandalized McGolrick Park Civil War Statue

By Meredith Hoffman on January 7, 2013 2:35pm 

GREENPOINT — The city cleaned up a decades-old Civil War memorial statue that was vandalized this weekend in McGolrick Park, officials said.

The Monitor and Merrimac Monument was built in the 1930's to commemorate the battle between the ironclad ships bearing those names and to honor the Monitor's designer, Greenpoint resident John Ericsson, a Parks spokeswoman noted.

"Our monument crew will remove the paint today, weather permitting," the spokeswoman said Monday afternoon.

Monday evening officials and residents rejoiced the restoration of the iconic figure.

"Amazing work today by the Brooklyn Parks Department," Williamsburg Council Member Stephen Levin wrote on Facebook. "They were out there this afternoon cleaning the Monitor statue and did an amazing job."

The ships depicted in the monument clashed in the battle of Hampton Roads, Va. on March 9, 1862, during which the Monitor helped the Union stave off defeat, according to the Parks Department.

The incident comes after some of the park's benches were vandalized and a sewer cap was stolen last Fall, likely by "kids that hang out there at night," said Dep. Inspector Terence Hurson, of the 94th Precinct. It was not clear if any arrests were made in those cases.

It was also not clear who might have tossed the paint on the statue.

"We're looking into it," he said.

For residents, the statue's "tragic" defacement was a sign of continued problems in the green space.

"It's really tragic this is happening, this is a small park in a good community," said a neighbor, who did not want to give her name.

And Levin called the statue's defamation "outrageous."

 

"It is terrible that anyone would do something like this to such a treasured landmark in our community, especially during the 150th anniversary of the Monitor," he said in an email. "I urge anyone with information to come forward immediately to the 94th Precinct."

Some residents suggested that video cameras should be placed in the park to catch future vandalism. 

Cops and the Parks Department did not respond to requests for comment on using video cameras or tickets to crack down in the park.

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