Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Six Special Trees in Brooklyn's Columbus Park

Look across the row of trees lining the walkway next to the New York State Supreme Court Building in Columbus Park, at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

How many times have you walked by those trees without really noticing them?

Four of the trees, which are probably at least 80 years old see comment as to their age, are extra special. Imbedded in the ground in front of these four trees are four plaques (hard to see unless you know they're there) dedicated to the memory of four young men from Brooklyn who died in WWI: Jeremiah P. Ferrette, Lyman Holdman, David Miller, and Charles R. Richardson.

The plaques say the men "died in the World War, 1914 - 1918."

There are two more special trees. One, age unknown, is dedicated to Arthur H. Bernstein, who also served in WWI but lived to later serve on the Kings County Council.

The tree at the end of the row was planted in 1963 by Borough President Abe Stark, in honor of John F. Kennedy.

Next time you walk by -- hurrying to Fulton Street or whatever -- look down into the grass and find the memorials to the men who are dead, but not forgotten.

Photo by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


Anonymous said...

There once were similar plaques all over Brooklyn. (Eastern Parkway comes particularly to mind.) Most of them were pried up and sold for their scrap metal value.

Chris Kreussling (Flatbush Gardener) said...

The trees in the photo look far too young - their trunks too slender - to be anywhere near 80 years old. Perhaps they are replacements of the originals? Perhaps it's the perspective of the photo.

It would be interesting to know what kinds of trees were originally planted, and what trees are now there. Many smaller, ornamental trees, such as cherry trees, are short-lived, ie: less than 50 years life expectancy.

Chris Kreussling (Flatbush Gardener) said...

I took a look at the large version of the photo. The trees in the background are London Plane trees. They are definitely NOT 80 years old. This tree develops a massive flaring trunk after a few decades. They were commonly planted as street trees in my neighborhood 100 years ago and are now nearing the ends of their lifespans.

The label on the tree in the foreground says it's a Japanese Pagoda tree. From the look of the trunk, it's probably older than the specimens in the background.

Anonymous said...

xris indirectly points out the obvious: this whole part of downtown Brooklyn was created by urban renewal around 50 years ago, well after WWI. These plaques must have been moved from somewhere.

Mystic Rose said...

Jeremiah P. Ferrette was my great-uncle. The article says that his plaque is there but doesn't have a picture of it; there's a picture of someone else's plaque. Is his plaque there? I may have to go check someday.