Lampposts beautify Gramercy and honor 9/11 heroes


By Jefferson Siegel

The Gramercy Neighborhood Associates recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the 16 newest bishop’s crook lampposts installed in the Gramercy Park area. The association funded the purchase of one of the lampposts to honor three area police officers who perished on 9/11.

“This brings the total to 40 lampposts dedicated to the community by G.N.A. and our sponsors,” said Nordal McWethy, president of the organization. “These lampposts unite the Gramercy Park historical district with the E. 17th St.-Irving Pl. landmarked area.”

G.N.A. bought one of the lampposts and dedicated it to Police Officers Robert Fazio and Moira Smith — the only female police officer to die on Sept. 11, 2001 — of the 13th Precinct and Officer Brian McDonnell of Emergency Services Squad 1.

“The G.N.A. wanted them to be remembered by the neighborhood for their supreme sacrifice,” McWethy said as she presented laminated maps, showing the location of the lamppost, to Captain Anthony Mainolfi and Community Affairs Officer Mike Hnatko of the 13th Precinct.

Each person or group that sponsored a lamppost also received a commemorative map. Each fixture cost $4,000. The first 24 lampposts were installed in 1991 and the project concluded with the installation of the final 16 last year.

G.N.A., which is over 90 years old, also handed out Springtime Floral Awards to three area residences and businesses. The awards recognized the efforts of neighbors and merchants whose plantings and gardening enhanced the beauty of the neighborhood. Honorees included Baruch College and Anthony Macagnone, owner of Sal Anthony’s restaurant.