NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – A Civil War monument on the Upper West Side is in need of major repairs, but for years no one has stepped up with the funding to fix it.
During a Memorial Day event Monday, the crumbling Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument at Riverside Park was surrounded by a fence, as it's too dangerous to keep open.
The white marble monument was dedicated in 1902 to honor Union Army soldiers and sailors. It was closed five years ago after an assessment found it had deteriorated due to age and lack of drainage.
There’s been a push ever since to have the monument repaired, but the cost of fixing it could be up to $54 million, according to City Councilmember Gale Brewer.
Brewer has created a petition for the city to pay for repairs at the monument.
Brewer said the monument is on the National Registry in addition to being a city and state landmark. So she’s appealing for federal funding and has already spoken to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
“I think there’s such a beloved feeling about this monument,” Brewer said.
Neil Berson, of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Association, said the city should use money from its capital budget to repair it.
“You’d like to be up close and be able to touch it and access it, and we can’t,” Berson said at Monday's event.
City Hall spokeswoman Kate Smart told 1010 WINS in a statement: “We remain committed to restoring the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument so all New Yorkers can appreciate this historically significant landmark.”
“More than $500 million has been invested in Riverside Park’s infrastructure already, including $348 million to rehabilitate the Overbuild and $11.5 million to begin addressing drainage issues,” Smart said.