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Dobbs Ferry Historian Says Don't Wreck Unique Park

On Sunday, Dobbs Ferry village historian Dr. Richard Borkow sent the following email to Dobbs Ferry mayor Hartley Connett and the board of trustees in response to a recently constructed pole that overlaps with the historical park on the corner of Livingston and Broadway.

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – Today, I walked by the construction at the corner of Livingston and Broadway, and found an error that needs your urgent attention.

As you know, there is a historical commemorative vest-pocket park at the intersection. The base for a utility pole has been installed inside the tiny vest-pocket park itself.  To accommodate the utility pole, the stone wall on the east side of the park has been removed.  The vest-pocket park is at the site of the Dobbs Ferry Redoubt--- it marks the ONLY Revolutionary War site that has been at least partially preserved in our village. As such, it is a uniquely valuable location not only for Dobbs Ferry but also for the National Park Service and the Washington-Rochambeau National Historic Trail. In July 2008, because of the beauty of the site, this was the place we brought reporters to show off Dobbs Ferry's exceptional Revolutionary War history--- for example the front page article with photo of the park in the Journal News on July 12, 2008.  French Ambassador Vimont commented on the beauty of the site, as did Congresswoman Lowey and Congressman Hinchey, at the ceremony of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area in Dobbs Ferry on July 25, 2009.  The DPW and Dobbs Ferry Garden Club volunteers worked together in the days prior to the ceremony to clean and plant in the park, and the result was an attractive commemorative area which did credit to Dobbs Ferry. When the Westchester County project lead presented her plans to the BOT in early 2009, I was very concerned and made sure to be at the BOT meeting in order to emphasize the fact that the intersection at Livingston and Broadway is a historically significant location.  The BOT gave me a lot of time to speak, and was very supportive of my concerns: the Westchester County project lead heard very clearly that the historical site must not be damaged. I then sent her follow up e-mails explaining again, in detail, the historical importance of the site. This park is a precious village resource, and it would be destroyed if a utility pole were to be placed inside it or directly in front of it. I respectfully urge that the pole should not be located in the park and should not block the head-on view of the park. Instead, the pole should be located several feet to the east--- the same general area where the mail box is presently located.  This commemorative park, honoring Dobbs Ferry's history and the American soldiers who defended Dobbs Ferry in 1781, should be shown respect and should not be wrecked because of the Community Development Block Grant project.

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