Last month’s strangely warm weather was perfect for park outings — even accidental ones. My boyfriend and I were out for an afternoon ramble when we stumbled across Monsignor McGolrick Park, which neither of us had previously known existed.
Prominent in the park are two memorial statues. The angel in front of the flag is dedicated “to the living and the dead heroes of Greenpoint who fought in the World War.” (The First, one presumes; the park was opened in 1891.)
The other was erected “to commemorate the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimac,” also known as the Battle of Hampton Roads, in the Civil War, “and in memory of the men of the Monitor and its designer John Ericsson.” The Monitor, I learned later, was built in Brooklyn.
The “Msgr.” of the name stands for Monsignor; Monsignor McGolrick was the pastor of a local church in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
At the center of the park is the large Shelter Pavilion, a designated New York City Landmark, pictured at the top.
Researching Msgr. McGolrick Park led me to NYC Parks’ Historical Signs Program. The site says:
New York City has more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds and recreational facilities. Unfortunately, few New Yorkers know whom they are named after or why. To help teach New Yorkers about their local parks and playgrounds and provide a sense of community, we created the Historical Signs Program.
True enough! I missed the sign that would have told me about Monsignor McGolrick, but I’ll know to keep an eye out for them in the future. 1,700 parks — I’ve still got a ways to go.
Location: Between Driggs Ave and Nassau Ave; between Russell St and Monitor St; Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Nearest Public Transit: G at Nassau Av