On June 8, 1938, the Department of Parks announced the completion of the redesign and reconstruction of Cooper Park (now also known as Cooper Triangle). The site was the location of an important political speech by Abraham Lincoln in 1860. The 1938 press release explained:
“In the reconstruction, the old dilapidated, unsanitary, underground comfort station has been eliminated; new exterior concrete walks constructed; 17 new trees planted and the fence enclosing the area repaired and painted.
At the north end on the base of the triangular plot is a memorial monument, consisting of a bearded figure of Peter Cooper, American inventor, manufacturer and philanthropist, seated in a massive bronze chair standing on a white marble pedestal. The statue stands beneath a heavy marble canopy supported by Ionic granite columns and was erected by the citizens of New York in grateful remembrance of Peter Cooper, founder of the Cooper Union for the advancement of science and art.”
Robert Moses presided over the opening ceremonies.
Although the 1938 press release does not mention which New Deal relief agencies were involved, researcher Frank da Cruz explains here that almost all New York City Parks Department projects between 1934 and 1943 were carried out with New Deal funds and/or labor, and that after April 1935, the WPA quickly became the main source of this support.
Department of Parks, Press Release, June 8, 1938 New York City Parks Department New Deal Projects 1934-43
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on November 15, 2016.
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