Eagle Sculpture

#SaveOurEagle Campaign Launches at Fort Jay

Eagle Sculpture
The Eagle Sculpture before Hurricane Sandy damaged it. (NPS Photo)

Following up on what we wrote about last week during the restoration work of the eagle sculpture at Fort Jay, comes word that the National Park Service is taking the fundraising public. The Governors Island National Monument is now in a competition with other national parks across the nation to try and get a piece of the $2 million pie to bring the sculpture back to its former glory. The eagle needs help.

Yesterday the Friends of Governors Island announced that they are backing the effort:

The sandstone eagle sculpture atop Fort Jay’s monumental arch on Governors Island is a one-of-a-kind national treasure and work of art, but two centuries of water, ice and pollution have damaged this national symbol.

To help save this unique piece of history, Fort Jay’s eagle statue was selected a part of a national competition through a partnership between the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express who will award $2 million in grants to historic sites in need of preservation as decided by popular vote.

Out of 20 parks, only a quarter will receive funding! To ‪#‎SaveOurEagle‬, you can vote once a day, every day at VoteYourPark.org/gois.

To vote you’ll need to create an account with National Geographic. Voting doesn’t work so well on mobile and tablets so use a desktop.

On Saturday and Sunday, May 28-29, opening weekend, the Friends and the National Park Service will be taking visitors up on the scaffolding to see the sculpture:

Climb the scaffolding surrounding Fort Jay’s Monumental Arch! National Park Service Rangers and preservation crew will accompany you to experience the Fort’s unique eagle sculpture up close! A park ranger will assist with going up and down the scaffolding and answer your questions about this incredible work of art from our nation’s founding.

Tours to Meet the Eagle are 30 minutes and begin at the following times on both May 28 and May 29:
10:30 am
11:30 am
1:30 pm
3:30 pm

Make a reservation here.

The Daily News article says the Governors Island sculpture is up against parks from coast to coast:

“With so many important parks in the New York area, it was a difficult decision to pick just one park to include in Partners in Preservation,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which sponsors the program with American Express. “What stood out about Governor’s Island is that it is a unique cultural resource that is locally popular but not as widely known elsewhere.”

For more information follow the Friends of Governors Island on Facebook and Twitter.

Kevin C. Fitzpatrick has written and edited seven books with ties to New York history, including "The Governors Island Explorer's Guide" and "World War I New York: A Guide to the City’s Enduring Ties to the Great War." Kevin is a licensed sightseeing guide and has been leading walking tours since 1999. He resides in Manhattan.