Eternal Light Flagstaff

Eternal Light Flagstaff
We’re proud to announce our partnership with the United Veterans War Council and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to renovate the landscape surrounding the monument.
Learn more about the project via the New York Times or in our official announcement.

RENOVATION
Giving the monument the street-facing prominence it deserves, the renovation project will remove fencing crowding the monument’s base to create an open plaza which will serve as a new Park entrance at 24th Street. Designed by Lichten Craig, the new entrance plaza is expected to be complete in time for the Veterans Day Parade commemorating the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day on November 11, 2018.

The landscape renovation will include demolishing the pavers and fencing around the monument base, constructing the new plaza, installing new gardens, fencing, and benches around the plaza, and replacing and upgrading pavers and electrical infrastructure around the southern end of Madison Square Park to support the annual Veterans Day Parade production.

The renovation will achieve a number of important objectives: first and foremost, to give this historic monument—so important to the veterans community—the prominent setting it deserves; second, to showcase design principles championed by Commissioner Mitchell Silver’s Parks Without Borders initiative which opens up park edges and creates inviting entrances; and third, to complete the Department of Transportation’s effort, stemming from Mayor de Blasio’s VisionZero program, to enhance pedestrian circulation and safety around the public plazas at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue by directly aligning the new Park entrance with the 24th Street crossing.

Eternal Light Flagstaff
 HISTORY
Designed by Thomas Hastings (1860-1929)—of Carrère and Hastings, architects of many notable buildings including the New York Public Library—the monument features a 30-foot-tall flagstaff supported by a massive stepped pedestal of Milford pink granite, inscribed with the names of significant battle sites and tributes to those who served their country in the First World War. The decorative bronze flagstaff base sculpted by Paul Wayland Bartlett (1865-1925) features rams’ heads and garlands, it supports a five-pointed, star-shaped luminaire, continuously lit as an eternal tribute to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom.

The Eternal Light Flagstaff was dedicated on Armistice Day 1923, and is the location of the wreath-laying ceremony which commences New York’s annual Veterans Day Parade – the largest in the country.

 

SUPPORT
The Eternal Light Flagstaff plaza reconstruction is made possible by New York Life, Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, and the New York City Council (Councilmembers Dan Garodnick, Corey Johnson, Mark Levine, Rosie Mendez).

The Conservancy would also like to thank Con Edison, Zwicker Electric Co. and the New York Building Foundation for their support of the 2017 restoration of the illuminated star atop the Flagstaff.

For more information on this project, please contact info@madisonsquarepark.org

 
Eternal Light Flagstaff
Photo by Rashmi Gill