Cadman Plaza is a linear 10.4-acre park located between historic Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn in Kings County. Cadman Plaza West and Cadman Plaza East border its west and east sides. The Brooklyn Bridge borders the park to the north, and Tillary Street is to the south.
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Key Features of the Area
Named for the Rev. Dr. Samuel Parks Cadman, a renowned minister in the Brooklyn Congregational Church for 36 years, Cadman Plaza originally was constructed as part of an effort to create an automobile ramp for the Brooklyn Bridge. Now this peaceful greenspace offers a place to sit, stroll or play. Thanks to a restoration project in 2007, it has an entrance garden and synthetic turf on its central lawn that children and families can enjoy year-round.
The park’s main feature is the granite and limestone Brooklyn War Memorial, which honors 300,000 Brooklyn residents who served in World War II. The monument includes a shallow stone plaza extending from a 24-foot-tall wall with two larger-than-life high-relief sculptures by Charles Keck representing Victory and Family. The memorial’s main auditorium is inscribed with the names of 11,000 Brooklynites who died in the war. This area is closed to the public, but relatives can make appointments to view the interior.
Symmetrical pathways and London plane trees, a signature tree type during the administration of Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, run parallel on either side of the park. A statue of William Jay Gaynor, the city’s mayor from 1910 to 1913, as well as a journalist, a lawyer and a New York Supreme Court justice, sits at the park’s northern end. Gaynor lived in Park Slope but was known during his tenure as mayor for walking over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall in Manhattan each day.
Brief History of Cadman Plaza
1600: The Dutch gain control of this northwestern part of Brooklyn from the Lenape Native Americans.
1814: Robert Fulton’s steam ferry from Brooklyn to Manhattan boosts development in the area.
1935: The City of New York acquires the future parkland by condemnation.
1939: The park is named Cadman Plaza Park.
1952: The Brooklyn War Memorial is dedicated.
2007: A $3 million city restoration project revamps the park, adding synthetic turf to the central lawn and planting an entrance garden and flowering trees. The restoration also includes new drinking fountains, fences, walking paths, benches and lighting.
Location & Tourism
The High Street/Brooklyn Bridge subway station for the A and C trains is at the northwestern end of the park. The federal courthouse for the Eastern District of New York flanks the southeastern part of the park. Also surrounding the park are the offices of the International Red Cross and the headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Just south of the park across Tillary Street is the Korean War Veterans Plaza. Next to this plaza is the main branch of the Brooklyn Post Office, an example of Richardson Romanesque architecture and one of the loveliest spots in the city to buy stamps or apply for a passport.
Interesting Facts About Cadman Plaza
- Romanian sculptor Leonard Ursachi, who lives in Brooklyn, exhibited Wellin the park in 2011 as part of the city’s public art program. The acrylic sculpture made with embedded crushed plastic water bottles, as well as salvaged wood and cobblestone, suggested a rural well. People could peer into the bottom and see their reflections in a mirrored surface.
- City officials christened the new synthetic turf of the central lawn — which the Parks Department said previously had resembled a dustbowl and mud puddle — by joining children from the Brooklyn Friends School in a game of Frisbee.
Directions to Belluck & Fox from Cadman Plaza
Belluck & Fox’s New York City law office is located in Midtown at 546 Fifth Ave., 5th Floor, New York NY 10036. From Cadman Plaza East, get on the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. Take FDR Drive north to First Avenue/United Nations Plaza. Turn right through the First Avenue Tunnel, then left onto East 47th Street. Turn left onto Fifth Avenue.
Our office also is reachable via the city subway. Take the A or C train from High Street/Brooklyn Bridge to West 4th Street/Washington Square and transfer to the B or D train to 42nd Street/Bryant Park.
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