7. Freedom Triangle celebrates the Brooklyn men who gave their lives during World War I

Freedom Triangle
Pietro Montana’s statue at Hessier Triangle, commemorating Sgt. Hessier who died while serving in the 106th Infantry in France during World War I.

Across from the Cook Mansion at the intersection of Bushwick, Myrtle, and Willoughby Avenues is the Freedom Triangle, which commemorates the Brooklyn men who gave their lives during World War I. Acquired by the city in 1912, the site was given its current name in 1919. Two years later in 1921, Italian immigrant Pietro Montana’s monument Victory with Peace was erected in the park — depicting Nike, the Greek Goddess of victory, leaning forward against an olive branch. Nike’s face was modeled after Claudia Deloney, a Hollywood film actress and friend of Gloria Swanson. The monument is set atop a granite pedestal designed by architect William C. Decay, with an inscription stating, “In Memory of the Men of the 19th Assembly District Who Died in the World War 1917-1918” and the names of the 94 individuals who died from the conflict.

Another war memorial in Bushwick by Montana can be found at Heisser Triangle, located at the intersection of Knickerbocker and Myrtle Avenues and Bleecker Street. The site was named after World War I Sgt. Hessier who lived on Grove Street and perished while serving in the 106th Infantry in France. The statue features Heisser holding a rifle in one hand while the other is clenched in a fist honoring the 156 men from the neighborhood who served during the war.