7. Visit an NYC Parks Monument
Highbridge Doughboy Statue. Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks
The NYC Parks Department maintains 103 memorials of all shapes and sizes that were erected in the aftermath of World War I. There are twenty-one monuments in Brooklyn, eighteen in the Bronx, twenty-three in Manhattan, twelve on Staten Island, and twenty-nine in Queens. To find a monument near you, search on the Public Art Map.
One of the memorials maintained by the Parks Department is the Washington Heights Inwood War Memorial inside Mitchel Park. This statue depicted three “doughboys” was recently rededicated after undergoing restoration. “Doughboys” is a term that was popularized during World War I to refer to infantrymen. The Washington Heights Inwood War Memorial, which was created by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, is one of nine such statues commissioned for New York City’s parks. Other example of this style of monument include the Bushwick-Ridgewood Memorial in Brooklyn, the Abingdon Square Doughboy, Chelsea Park Memorial, and Clinton War Memorial in Manhattan and the Woodside Doughboy in Queens. “Doughboy” statues are characterized by realistic yet heroic poses that highlight the sacrifice of anonymous soldiers rather than glorify a single great men of war.