March 1, 2012. Please share & consider commenting on the Queens Ledger website:
|Civic Virtue, west of Queens Borough Hall at Queens Blvd & Union Turnpike|
|Civic Virtue at its original home of City Hall Park, NYC circa 1930|
It a shame how the true meaning of Civic Virtue – the statue that stands near Borough Hall - is frequently misinterpreted and devalued in political discourse.
Civic Virtue has not been maintained for decades; with an inoperable fountain, a weathered sculpture, and cracked steps. On September 7, 2011, as chairman of Rego-Forest Preservation Council, I nominated Civic Virtue for the State & National Register of Historic Places, so the statue can be commemorated and eligible for funding incentives, to help restore this public masterpiece.
On February 6, 2012, Queens BP Helen Marshall held a budget hearing at Queens Borough Hall. Architect Glenn Urbanas of Richmond Hill, testified at the hearing. He suggested “a modest sum which might be as little as $25,000 - $30,000 to be allocated in next year’s budget, so Request For Proposals can be prepared for accredited stone conservators, who can provide a detailed scope of work including estimates of materials, labor, and procedures for a phased project of cleaning, conservation, and restoration.” Marshall said she found it very disturbing that the statue degrades women. After Urbanas’ presentation, he explained its allegorical nature. “Marshall seemed to have softened her resistance towards conserving the sculpture,” said Urbanas.
Mary Ann Carey, district manager of Community Board 9, also testified, and since then, Marshall has expressed interest in meeting with the board. “We have a work of art that’s crumbling and corroding due to pigeon droppings and the elements,” Carey said. “If it was in Italy, Civic Virtue would be a revered statue. We want it cleaned and conserved.”