Evacuation Day Plaza Honored with New Illuminated Street Sign
The Alliance for Downtown New York unveiled a new illuminated street sign to commemorate Evacuation Day Plaza earlier this week at Bowling Green. The ceremony was led by Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin and featured several key community leaders who were influential in the naming of the plaza, including Council Member Margaret Chin (D-Lower Manhattan), the Lower Manhattan Historical Association's James Kaplan, Ambrose Richardson and Peter Feinman and Veteran Corps of Artillery of the State of New York's Allen Milman. As of today's unveiling, the Alliance for Downtown New York has completed phase two of its illuminated street sign project with the installation of 57 illuminated signs along the Water Street corridor, from Fulton to Whitehall Streets.
Evacuation Day Plaza commemorates the location of a pivotal event in the Revolutionary War that ended a brutal 7-year occupation by British troops. As the British boarded ships back to England, General George Washington triumphantly led the Continental Army through Manhattan to Bowling Green. For more than a century after, Evacuation Day was a major local holiday that was celebrated with festivals and parades.
"We are honored to be able to shine light on Evacuation Day Plaza with this new illuminated street sign," said Downtown Alliance President Jessica Lappin. "Not only is the commemoration a moment to reflect on the history of our country's democracy but the process of bringing this sign to life was a modern show of democracy in action. The Historical Society advocated to get the plaza co-named and Councilwoman Chin heard their appeal and helped get the council to make it official."
"Last year, I was proud to be part of the effort to co-name Bowling Green to recognize this important moment in our Nation's history when the last British troops left the newly liberated colonies," said Council Member Margaret S. Chin. "Now, thanks to the installation of this illuminated sign, everyone who passes by will be able to note the importance of this spot – no matter what time of day or night. Along with the other illuminated signs installed along Water Street, the new Evacuation Day plaza is proof of Downtown's continued resurgence. I thank Downtown Alliance and Jessica Lappin for this effort to honor the past, present and future of our neighborhoods." said Council Member Margaret Chin (D-Lower Manhattan).
"The recognition and revival after 100 years of the ancient New York holiday of Evacuation Day is an important milestone in the efforts of Lower Manhattan Historical Society to educate people in Lower Manhattan and throughout the City about the very rich and often forgotten history of this area. We applaud the efforts of the Downtown Alliance to illuminate this important sign," said James Kaplan, president of the Lower Manhattan Historical Association.
The Alliance's illuminated street sign project has provided 117 new signs to date along both the Broadway and Water Street corridors. The next and final phase will bring new signs to Church Street, from Morris to Murray Streets.