Forest Hills resident launches project to bring a bronze statue of Spider-Man to MacDonald Park

A stunt man dressed as Spider-Man, poses during a photo call for the film “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” at the Empire State Building in New York April 25, 2014. (REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

Larry Ng, a longtime resident of Forest Hills, is organizing a community-led project to bring a life-size bronze statue of Spider-Man to MacDonald Park.

Ng says the statue will bring great joy and pride to the community, particularly for children who have been impacted by the pandemic. 

“I always thought of the statue as approachable, where kids can take pictures with their family, and have it in an area that’s easily accessible and not fenced in,” Ng said. 

Marvel’s Spider-Man is the alias of fictional science whiz-kid Peter Parker, who was raised by his Aunt May and Uncle Ben at 20 Ingram St. in Forest Hills. Bitten by a radioactive spider, Parker’s arachnid abilities give him amazing powers, such as clinging to surfaces, superhuman strength and agility, and detecting danger with his spider-sense. He also builds wrist-mounted web-shooter devices that shoot artificial spider webs of his own design. 

In January, Ng started looking into the process of how to bring the statue to Forest Hills. His inspiration for the project comes after a 13-foot-tall statue of Captain America was unveiled in Brooklyn in 2016, he said. 

According to Ng, statues — such as the iconic Statue of Liberty, Prometheus in Rockefeller Center, the Charging Bull near Wall Street, Alice in Wonderland in Central Park and the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows Corona Park — bring life to New York City and its many neighborhoods.  

Statues bring people together and are cherished by all, and Ng strongly believes that Spider-Man will do the same for Forest Hills. 

A few weeks ago, Ng created a website for people to find out more information about the project and to leave comments. He is partnering with David Cortes, who designed the Captain America statue. 

Cortes will serve as creative designer for the statue and will oversee its design, fabrication and installation. Ng is also partnering with Michael Perlman, a historian and fifth-generation resident of Forest Hills, who will help with the site selection and community engagement for the statue. Community Board 6 is also supporting Ng’s project.

Ng envisions the bronze statue erected at MacDonald Park, located at 87-20 Queens Blvd., also known as “the heart of Forest Hills,” and is easily accessible. 

He has identified a small plaza area on the northwestern corner of the park, at the intersection between Queens Boulevard and Yellowstone, for the statue to be displayed. They will need approval from the Parks Department, which will be a lengthy process, Ng said. 

The statue would take around six months to complete and would cost between $150,000 to $200,000, Ng said. 

“The project would be crowdfunded by donations made by the public, but a fund will only be created when plans for the project become more advanced,” Ng said. 

Former Spider-Man artists and actors, including many Spidey fans, have offered their support or volunteered to help, Ng said.

“I’ve been getting so much positive feedback. Everyone loves the idea. I mean, who doesn’t love Spider-Man?” Ng said.

After hearing Ng’s idea to bring a Spider-Man statue to Forest Hills, Senator Joseph Addabbo said he hopes to see the project advance and become a reality.

“For over 60 years in the comics, the fictional Peter Parker has lived in Forest Hills when he is not being Spider-Man and saving the citizens of New York City. To have his likeness right here in the town he calls home will be positive for the community — like the Captain America statue in Brooklyn — especially to the children of Forest Hills who can look at that work of art, and hopefully it can inspire a new generation to do great things and become ‘superheroes’ in their lives,'” Addabbo said.