Officials broke ground on a $1.87 million reconstruction project at Woodside’s Doughboy Park.
The renovations, made possible by an allocation provided by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, will include the plaza surrounding the park’s World War I memorial statue and the seating areas and provide new drinking fountains and pathways to the site.
“Doughboy Park is a charming and historic neighborhood jewel that offers a peaceful green oasis in Woodside,” NYC Parks Queens Borough Commissioner Michael Docket said. “Thanks to Council member Jimmy Van Bramer, we’re providing community members with an inviting, enhanced green space for passive recreation and reflection.”
The project also includes reconstruction of the existing retaining wall and the 9/11 Memorial plaque and flagpole. Additional upgrades will include improved security lighting and drainage, new plantings and a revamped pathway for easier access to the park’s dog run.
Bounded by Woodside Avenue, 52nd Street and 39th Road, Doughboy Park is just 1.71 acres but includes the memorial statue and plaza dedicated to those who served, including 34 people who lived or worked in Woodside who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The statue depicts a World War I-era infantryman, or “doughboy.” British soldiers referred to American infantrymen as “doughboys” because of the large round buttons on their uniforms. The buttons reminded the British soldiers of the cakes or biscuits known as doughboys. Statues of American infantry soldiers are also called doughboys, and there are bronze doughboys in all five boroughs. The park hosts annual Memorial Day and Sept. 11 observances.
“The $1.8 million I’ve allocated to renovating Doughboy Plaza will make this space beautiful,” Van Bramer said. “It’s a space that honors so many who have died in service to others. I’m thrilled to have fought for this great park in Woodside and excited to see the construction start.”
The project is expected to be completed in fall 2021.