World War I Memorials, Part Five

“Men and Women of Brooklyn Who Died
In the World War
MCMXIV – MCMXVIII
They gave their lives for liberty
And universal peace
Honor, Duty, Country”
—Inscriptions above the benches at
The Prospect Park War Memorial

Armistice Day, Bronze, Bronze Sculpture, Veterans, World War One, World War I, Veterans Day, Henry Augustus Lukeman, Prospect Park, War Memorials, November 11th, War, American Holiday, War Dead, War Casualties, Honor Roll, Brooklyn,

The Prospect Park War Memorial, Brooklyn.

Today, the 11th of November 2019, is Veterans Day in the United States. Originally called Armistice Day, when it was established in 1938 as an annual day of remembrance for those who fought and lost their lives in the First World War. The original name came from the Armistice that ended hostilities at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Armistice Day, Bronze, Bronze Sculpture, Veterans, World War One, World War I, Veterans Day, Henry Augustus Lukeman, Prospect Park, War Memorials, November 11th, War, American Holiday, War Dead, War Casualties, Honor Roll, Brooklyn,

The Prospect Park War Memorial, detail, Brooklyn.

Walk About New York continues the practice of highlighting the many World War One memorials throughout New York City. Today’s is the Prospect Park War Memorial.

Armistice Day, Bronze, Bronze Sculpture, Veterans, World War One, World War I, Veterans Day, Henry Augustus Lukeman, Prospect Park, War Memorials, November 11th, War, American Holiday, War Dead, War Casualties, Honor Roll, Brooklyn,

The Prospect Park War Memorial, detail, Brooklyn.

Architect Arthur D. Pickering is responsible for the overall design. The gracefully curving, 18-foot-tall, 35-foot-wide, wall, made of Milford pink granite, as is the pedestal, supports six bronze tablets listing a roll of honor of Brooklyn’s 2,800 World War I dead. At the time the tablets were described as the largest such honor rolls ever cast in the United States. Among those listed are members of the 14th Brooklyn, known as the “Red Legged Devils” in the Civil War because of their red trousers; the unit reinforced the U.S. 106th Infantry Regiment in France during the First World War.

Armistice Day, Bronze, Bronze Sculpture, Veterans, World War One, World War I, Veterans Day, Henry Augustus Lukeman, Prospect Park, War Memorials, November 11th, War, American Holiday, War Dead, War Casualties, Honor Roll, Brooklyn,

The Prospect Park War Memorial, detail, Brooklyn.

At the monument’s center is a figural grouping, designed and sculpted by Henry Augustus Lukeman (1872–1935). An Angel of Death supports a wounded and dying soldier, head bandaged, looking dazed, and dressed in a battle uniform. New York’s own Roman Bronze Works, founded in 1897, cast both the figures and the tablets.

Armistice Day, Bronze, Bronze Sculpture, Veterans, World War One, World War I, Veterans Day, Henry Augustus Lukeman, Prospect Park, War Memorials, November 11th, War, American Holiday, War Dead, War Casualties, Honor Roll, Brooklyn,

Sculptor’s signature, the Prospect Park War Memorial, detail, Brooklyn.

Mr. Lukeman and Mr. Pickering won a 1919 competition over more than 100 artist entrants for the commission to design and sculpt the memorial.

Armistice Day, Bronze, Bronze Sculpture, Veterans, World War One, World War I, Veterans Day, Henry Augustus Lukeman, Prospect Park, War Memorials, November 11th, War, American Holiday, War Dead, War Casualties, Honor Roll, Brooklyn,

The Prospect Park War Memorial, detail, Brooklyn.

Mr. Lukeman was born in Richmond, Virginia but raised in New York City, and studied with American sculptors Daniel Chester French (1850–1931) and Launt Thompson (1833–1894), and at Paris’ École des Beaux Arts. The sculptor was a member of many arts organizations, including the National Sculpture Society, the National Academy of Design, and the Architectural League. In New York City, his works include the 1921’s “Red Hook Doughboy,” and 1915’s Straus Memorial on at Broadway and 106th Street on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Following his work on the Prospect Park War Memorial, Mr. Lukeman re-designed and worked on the mountainside reliefs at Stone Mountain, Georgia, first begun by Gutzon Borglum.

Armistice Day, Bronze, Bronze Sculpture, Veterans, World War One, World War I, Veterans Day, Henry Augustus Lukeman, Prospect Park, War Memorials, November 11th, War, American Holiday, War Dead, War Casualties, Honor Roll, Brooklyn,

The Prospect Park War Memorial, detail, Brooklyn.

Being an avid philanthropist and a long-time resident of Brooklyn, one of the country’s most successful shipbuilders, William H. Todd (1857–1932) paid for the memorial. In Red Hook, a Brooklyn neighborhood where he once worked, Todd Square is named for him. Reportedly 35,000 people attended the memorial’s dedication on June 26, 1921. Among the attendees were 89 American Legion posts and 35 contingents of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Armistice Day, Bronze, Bronze Sculpture, Veterans, World War One, World War I, Veterans Day, Henry Augustus Lukeman, Prospect Park, War Memorials, November 11th, War, American Holiday, War Dead, War Casualties, Honor Roll, Brooklyn,

The Prospect Park War Memorial, detail, Brooklyn.

Over the years Prospect Park’s War Memorial, located at southeast section of the Park alongside the lake, suffered at the hands of Mother Nature and vandals. Its first major restoration was in 1936. Since then more deterioration by the same forces left the memorial in bad shape. Two of the damaged honor rolls, one of which had been stolen but later recovered, were stored away for safekeeping. In 2011 NYC’s Citywide Monuments Conservation Program, a public/private partnership, undertook a $70 million renovation project of the memorial. During this renovation, a local Brooklyn foundry, Bedi-Makky repaired and re-installed the two bronze tablets.

Armistice Day, Bronze, Bronze Sculpture, Veterans, World War One, World War I, Veterans Day, Henry Augustus Lukeman, Prospect Park, War Memorials, November 11th, War, American Holiday, War Dead, War Casualties, Honor Roll, Brooklyn,

The Prospect Park War Memorial, detail, Brooklyn.

Read other articles in our World War One Memorial Series
“World War I Memorials, Part Four”
“World War I Memorials, Part Three”
“World War I Memorials, Part Two”
“World War I Memorials, Part One”
“Doughboys in Bronze”
“Father Duffy in Times Square”
“Eternal Light Flagstaff”

Armistice Day, Bronze, Bronze Sculpture, Veterans, World War One, World War I, Veterans Day, Henry Augustus Lukeman, Prospect Park, War Memorials, November 11th, War, American Holiday, War Dead, War Casualties, Honor Roll, Brooklyn,

The Prospect Park War Memorial, bench and inscription, Brooklyn.

Our Greenwich Village Walking Tour brings you to a charming, local Village park. There you will come face-to-face with one of the finest memorials to the fallen from the Great War; it is also our second favorite work of art in the NYC park. Take the Tour; Know More!

Armistice Day, Bronze, Bronze Sculpture, Veterans, World War One, World War I, Veterans Day, Henry Augustus Lukeman, Prospect Park, War Memorials, November 11th, War, American Holiday, War Dead, War Casualties, Honor Roll, Brooklyn,

The Prospect Park War Memorial, bench and inscription, Brooklyn.

ALL PHOTOS AND TEXT, EXCEPT CREDITED QUOTES, © THE AUTHOR 2019

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