NEW YORK — A monument honoring essential workers’ efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic will change locations after residents in Battery Park City were unhappy with where it was originally going to be built.
A spokesperson for Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the decision was an attempt to remain engaged with the local community.
“This project always incorporated community input and this is just the latest reflection of that,” spokesperson Jordan Bennett told PIX11 News. “We’re committed to building a monument to essential workers that New Yorkers will be proud of.”
Workers were set to rip up trees in the section of the park where the monument would have gone up, however, several protesters disrupted the construction.
The protesters said the park space was vital during the pandemic — and still is — especially for the city’s children. They also said Cuomo gave the project the green light without any public meetings or hearings.
They asked the governor to pause the work and rethink a way to honor essential workers without sacrificing the limited greenspace left in Manhattan.
“Over the next week the Battery Park City Authority will continue to engage with our neighbors, representatives of essential workers and the governor’s office to discuss the location of the monument in Battery Park City to ensure it is one that’s optimal for the entire community,” said George Tsunis, the Battery Park City Authority Chairman. “Essential workers have dedicated their time, energy and lives to helping New York get through the pandemic and it is an honor to support and memorialize them with a monument that’s as loved and respected as they are.”
Planned construction of the monument was paused through the coming holiday weekend.