While scuttling through Carroll Gardens last winter, attempting to remain unnoticed with my camera, I found this large war memorial in Carroll Park (between President, Carroll, Court and Smith Streets). I’m always happy to find these, and if the Giuliani-Bloomberg era has a great legacy other than drastically reducing crime, it’s that the city’s monuments have never looked better. No doubt this was cracked and verdigris’ed at one time, but the busy gnomes at Parks have been polishing up the city’s statuary and plaques. It looks as good as when it was built almost a century ago.
Serving as the symbolic centerpiece of this neighborhood park and playground, the Carroll Park War Memorial honors the memory of those men from the surrounding 8th Assembly District who lost their lives in military service during World War I.
The monument consists of an 18-foot tall pink granite stele to which are mounted front and back bronze bas-reliefs of soldiers and sailors, crafted by Brooklyn-born sculptor Eugene H. Morahan (1869-1949). On either side are bronze honor rolls listing those who paid the supreme sacrifice for their country. The frontal image represents a soldier mourning his slain comrades while the rear composition’s central motif is that of a sailor on watch.
A gift to the City, the monument was commissioned by a local committee at a cost of $9,000 and dedicated in 1921. In 1994, as part of a $1.3 million upgrade of Carroll Park and playground, the monument, its sculptural reliefs, and commemorative plaques were fully restored. NYC Parks