On Thursday March 15th, the General Delegate of the Government of Flanders, Geert De Proost, took part in the opening ceremony of The Eternal Light Flagstaff at Madison Square Park. This project was designed by Lichten Craig in partnership with the United Veterans War Council and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.
Designed by Thomas Hastings, the monument features a 30-foot-tall flagstaff supported by a massive stepped pedestal of Milford pink granite, inscribed with the names of significant battle sites and tributes to those who served their country in the First World War. The Eternal Light Flagstaff was dedicated on Armistice Day 1923, and is the location of the wreath-laying ceremony which commences New York’s annual Veterans Day Parade – the largest in the country.
The renovation gives the monument the street-facing prominence it deserves and removes the fencing crowding the monument’s base into an open plaza, which will also serve as the new park entrance at 24th Street. Several important objectives will be achieved with this renovation. The main objective is to give this historic monument the prominent setting it deserves. Moreover, Commissioner Michel Silver’s Parks Without Borders initiative, to open up park edges and create inviting entrances, is showcased beautifully. The final goal is to enhance the pedestrian circulation and safety around the public plazas.