Dongan Oak MonumentWith support from the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) this film was taken in the 1930s by Karl Gruppe (1893-1982), chief sculptor of the Monument Restoration Project of the New York City Parks Department, from 1934 to 1937. Credit: Karl Gruppe/Elizabeth Stover Gruppe
“One of several small monuments in the vicinity of what is known as the “Battle Pass” in Prospect Park, the Dongan Oak Monument commemorates events which took place in this area during the Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776. During this significant battle of the Revolutionary War, a large white oak mentioned in 1685 in the patent of Governor Thomas Dongan (1634–1715), was cut down by Colonial soldiers and thrown across the road to impede the advance of the British army.” (www.nycgovparks.org)
In the 1930s, the sculpture was restored with federal funding under Karl Gruppe, “chief sculptor of the Monument Restoration Project of the New York City Parks Department, from 1934 to 1937.” The program was initially supported by federal funding from the Public Works of Art Project (Lowrey, 2008), and later by the WPA.
This monument commemorating the oak tree was built in 1922 by Frederick W. Ruckstull. The eagle perched on top of the monument was stolen in 1974. In 1991 the Prospect Park Alliance sponsored the replacement of the monument by sculptor John Metrovics. Unfortunately, the eagle was later stolen, but it was again replaced.
NYC Parks - Dongan Oak Marker Parks Monuments Conservation Crew Vintage Film, NYC Parks Site Lowrey, Carol. 2008. A Legacy of Art: Paintings and Sculptures by Artist Life Members of the National Arts Club. NYC Parks - Cooper Triangle
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on March 12, 2016.
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