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LIBERTY & MINERVA/GREEN-WOOD CEMETERY: BROOKLYN, NEW YORK

Updated: May 24, 2021


The Statue of Liberty, with her right arm upraised saluting Battle Hill across the Harbor and then Minerva, with her left arm upraised, saluting back to the Statue of Liberty. It was and still is a dynamic relationship.





Minerva is located across the Harbor from the historic Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Below is a picture of the entrance to the cemetery.


In 1920, Charles M. Higgins, an Irish immigrant and successful businessman (and local history buff) decided to build an altar on Battle Hill to the Revolutionary War Battle of Long Island, the first major and often overlooked battle after the Declaration of Independence.



So he purchased the lots in front of his tomb and donated that land for the placement of the Altar of Liberty and a statue of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, war, art, schools, and commerce.


Below is a early plan he had in mind before he decided to have her wave to liberty.


Below on the modified plans is written "Pointed Directly to Statue of Liberty".


Perhaps anticipating that Minerva might get lonely at the top, he made sure she had a friend nearby: Minerva’s waving hand is reciprocated directly 3.5 miles to the West by Lady Liberty’s upraised torch.



Minerva's view.




Although preservation attempts have been threatened many times in the past by developers lusting over properties off Brooklyn’s South Slope, Sunset Park, and Red Hook neighborhoods as territory ripe for development, so far, and luckily, due to public outcry from the community, the historical view so far has been preserved.



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