The Brooklyn War Memorial
The Brooklyn War Memorial was dedicated in 1951. It was to be one of five WWII memorials in total commissioned by the infamous Parks Commissioner Robert Moses; however, the Brooklyn War Memorial was the only one built with a combination of public and private money. The memorial, designed by the architectural firm of Eggers and Higgins, includes two massive exterior high relief figures by sculptor Charles Keck (1875–1951), that depict a male warrior on the left and a female with a child to the right – symbols of victory and family. Inside the memorial is a 5000 sq ft auditorium. Overlooking the room is the Wall of Honor that lists the names of over 11,500 Brooklyn residents who died serving in WWII. For many years, it served as a community center and education center as well as a place of remembrance. It was closed to the public and to veterans in 1985 because it is not handicap-accessible and lacks handicap-accessible bathrooms.
In 2012 the NYC Parks Department set aside $3 million to build an entrance ramp with the one stipulation; before these funds could be released, other funds need to be raised (either through public or private means) to renovate the interior to include an elevator, handicap-accessible bathrooms and upgraded electrical and HVAC.
In 2015, with the creation of the Brooklyn War Memorial Honors the Cadman Park Conservancy and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership are beginning a multi-tiered campaign to raise $3 million from private donations as well as city, state and federal funding. With the guidance of the NYC Parks Department, our combined vision is to create a self-sustaining education and community center as well as a much needed multi-purposed Veterans Center.
The inscription on the memorial facing the lawn reads:
THIS MEMORIAL IS DEDICATED TO THE HEROIC MEN AND WOMEN OF THE BOROUGH OF BROOKLYN WHO FOUGHT FOR LIBERTY IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR 1941-1945 AND ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WHO SUFFERED AND DIED MAY THEIR SACRIFICE INSPIRE FUTURE GENERATIONS AND LEAD TO UNIVERSAL PEACE.