For Immediate Release
Contact: Lynn Kopka 518-274-6434
TROY, NY (07/25/2011) — This Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., neighborhood residents will unveil a historic marker indicating that Washington Park is one of only two privately owned and maintained urban residential parks in New York state.
“A lot of new people are discovering Troy, but they don’t always realize how special some of our features are. Washington Park and the famous Gramercy Park in Manhattan are the only parks of their kind in the state,” said Lynn Kopka, president of the Washington Park Association. “This historic marker will help newcomers realize how special our city really is.”
The cast iron sign is located in the northeastern corner of Washington Park, near the intersection of Third St. and Washington St. It is painted in the state colors, blue and gold, and reads:
Established in 1840 this park is one of only two privately owned urban ornamental parks in New York State.
Washington Park Association
The sign was cast by the same company used by New York State to create more than 2,800 official historic markers during the 1920s through 1960s, when the program was discontinued. Now it’s up to individual communities to create, finance and erect site-specific historic markers.
The Washington Park historic marker was commissioned by a former resident, but never displayed publicly until now.
“Some people didn’t want the sign because it’s not an original feature of the park,” said Steve Muller of Second Street, noting that neighborhood residents are very protective of keeping their park in its original condition. “But we had a popularity contest at our summer picnic and the majority of people said yes to the sign.”
Muller repaired and repainted the sign, and Washington Park resident Karl Moschner erected the mounting pole.
Most days of the year, only neighborhood residents can access the gated park with a key. But this Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., the public will have a rare opportunity to walk the Washington Park grounds during the sign unveiling and reception. Refreshments will be served.
“This Wednesday is a special opportunity for the public to explore our park grounds, so don’t miss out,” said Kopka.
On Monday, July 18, Friends of Washington Park submitted plans to the city to transform the closed former St. Mary’s Church into a community cultural center. Friends of Washington Park, a nonprofit affiliated with the Washington Park Association, will purchase the historic church at 196 Third St. from the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese. The purchase is contingent upon approval by the city Zoning Board of Appeals for the proposed reuse.
Last summer Friends of Washington Park completed a $200,000 restoration project to preserve and restore the original Belgian block pavers on Washington Place, a short street bordering the south end of the park.
“We’re hoping that all of these efforts will spur additional development in the community,” Kopka said.
For information, contact: Lynn Kopka at 518-274-6434.
For high resolution publicity images of the historic marker, click here.
Media coverage resulting from this press release:
State historical marker to be unveiled at Washington Park this afternoon
The Record, July 27, 2011Troy
Washington Park in Troy is historic. There’s a sign now and everything.
All Over Albany, July 26, 2011