The View from Battle Hill: Green-Wood Cemetery and the Statue of Liberty

Green-Wood Cemetery is currently petitioning the Bloomberg Administration to adopt a policy that the view corridor between Minerva and the Statue of Liberty should be preserved under Section 197-a of the City Charter.

Green-Wood’s Battle Hill is the site of the Battle of Brooklyn where, in August 1776, American soldiers were locked in a fierce fight with British troops. Minerva, sculpted by Frederic Wellington Ruckstall (1853-1942), was commissioned by Irish immigrant Charles M. Higgins, owner of “Higgins’ American India Ink” company, as a memorial to the brave patriots who gave their lives in that Battle. She directly faces Liberty Island as a salute to the Statue there.

In 2006, the development wave threatened to block the view, but a nearby project was modified to avoid this and the slope below Battle Hill was rezoned with lower height limits. However, the industrial areas of Red Hook, at the bottom of the slope, currently do not have height limitations.

As explained in stories in the Daily News (I’m not seeing it online, but it ran in the Brooklyn section) and the online Post (their local affiliate the Brooklyn Paper had it first), protection of the view corridor would enhance recognition of both the Cemetery and the harbor overall as a, historic and cultural tourism destination.

Community Boards 6 & 7 will have a joint meeting to consider the proposal on July 22, 2010 at 6PM at Green-Wood.


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