Jersey City is looking to loan the historic Peter Stuyvesant statue to Hudson County to be put on display to honor the state's 350th anniversary.
A resolution on tomorrow's City Council agenda calls for the statue, which has been in storage at the city's DPW property on Route 440, would be placed in the pocket park in from of the Hudson County Community College's Culinary Arts Center on Sip Avenue in Journal Square for one year.
“While the statue rightly belongs in Bergen Square, we thought it was important to find a solution and wanted the public to be able to view the statue during the state’s 350th anniversary year, which is this year, 2014,” Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop said.
The statue, honoring the director general of the Colony of New Netherlands – the Dutch community that included New York City and Jersey City -- was uprooted from its base in 2010 when the Jersey City Board of Education mistakenly loaned it to HCCC. Ironically, the plan was to place the statue where it will now sit for a year, if the resolution is approved.
The base was destroyed when the statue was removed from in front of Martin Luther King School. Through private donations, grants and with the help of the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, the foundation for the statue is being rebuilt.
“During the time the statue is on display, we will work to secure grant funding to rebuild the granite pedestal for the statue so Peter Stuyvesant can be returned to his rightful home in Bergen Square,” Fulop said.
The construction of the monument was authorized by the state Legislature, which passed legislation and authorized funding for the construction of the monument.
Hudson County Executive Thomas A. DeGise thanked Fulop for working to bring the statue out of storage. For a time, the statue sat on the property of a Jersey City monument business, covered by a tarp.
“This statue is an undeniable part of our area’s proud and shared history,” Mr. DeGise stated.
Fulop credited the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy with restoring the statue for free and "leading the battle to ensure the monument and its pedestal are returned to Bergen Square."
Last summer construction began in the plaza in front of MLK School, also known as School 11.
“The Conservancy is committed to ensuring that the Old Town of Bergen monument be rebuilt as soon as possible so that future generations can be reminded that the state of New Jersey started here in Jersey City,” said Justin Frohwirth, president of the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy.
Jersey City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said the city is in the processing applying for grants to fund the reconstruction of the pedestal. Last year it was reported that the cost of restoring the statue is upwards of $125,000.
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