A Queens plaza that was once home to the controversial Triumph of Civic Virtue statue will now be dedicated to women, thanks to Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.
The statue, which some felt portrayed women (the sirens Vice and Corruption) being trampled by a naked man, has been around since the 1920s. In 1941 it was banished to Queens from Manhattan by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, and in 2012 was moved to Green-Wood Cemetery. LaGaurdia took issue with the statue, which at the time sat outside of City Hall, because he didn't like seeing what he called the "Fat Boy's" naked butt every day. History!
The decaying plaza at Queens Blvd. and Union Turnpike in Queens will now get a $720,000 makeover, according to the Daily News, which should be completed by next spring. This will include new landscaping and benches.
It's unclear how women will be worked into the redesign, but Katz stated: “This restoration project will create a fitting tribute in a prominent location in our borough’s civic center, dedicated to the women of Queens. The site will soon host a visible, meaningful tribute to the women of Queens and become a public space utilized and enjoyed by all.” Hopefully this will include a female statue.
Somehow, in 2016, there are only a handful of statues portraying real women. Specifically, of the 150ish historical statues in all of New York City, there are five: Joan of Arc was the first, and the others are Eleanor Roosevelt, Gertrude Stein, Golda Mier, and Harriet Tubman—who was the last one, put up in 2007. There are 0 in Central Park.
The project, announced this week, should be completed by next spring, officials said.