I am a 2023 graduate of the High School of Art and Design where I studied architecture. I have been reading the Juniper Berry every season and it has always been a favorite of mine. I will be continuing my passion in college which starts in the fall.
For one of my senior school projects, we were tasked to design a monument that represents our neighborhood’s history and culture. Part of the project required us to understand the neighborhood’s geography, demography, and zoning. I recall reading in the Juniper Berry Spring 2023 issue, that there are proposals that have been stated to create a 1,600-foot-long decking over the Long Island Expressway from 65th Place to 69th Place. I have chosen the location of the monument to be at the first proposed site between Grand Avenue and 69th Street.
This 12-foot-tall monument is composed of a bronze Native American Spearhead enclosed in a golden brass ring situated on a circular white marble podium in the middle of a reflecting pool. This monument represents Maspeth’s 400-year-old Native American history and culture. The spearhead represents direction and defense, fac- ing west towards Manhattan. In 1642 when Maspeth was established, the Mespeatches Natives sought to fight back for their land. In 1644, Maspeth was attacked and burned, and the surviving Dutch colonists retreated to Manhattan. This shows how the Natives retaliated with defense against colonization. The brass ring; the circle, aka. The Zia Symbol, in Native American culture, symbolizes the four seasons, the sun, and the cycle of life. Being situated in the middle of a reflecting pool in an open plaza, the sun focuses the shiny brass ring, illuminating the monument all day long. The reflecting pool, coincidentally, represents
the part of Maspeth’s original geography which used to be swampland. This monument will be a gathering point in the center of the community which everyone can enjoy. I would like to give special thanks to the architect who created the site plan for the proposed park, and I hope that our designs will coincide with one another and become a reality.