Joan of Arc Statue Getting Fancier Digs


Onward, Joan of Arc!

By Alex Israel

Six hundred years after the real Joan of Arc was born, the area around her statue in Riverside Park is getting an upgrade.

A capital project funded by Helen Rosenthal’s participatory budgeting contest will reconstruct the concrete stairs and asphalt paths in the area adjacent to the Joan of Arc monument between West 91st Street and West 95th Street. A Parks Department rep explained the project at a recent community board meeting.

Representing one of only six monuments dedicated to women across the NYC Parks system, the Joan of Arc monument was unveiled in 1915 and last renovated 30 years ago. Updates would include:
  • Reconstructing the original concrete stairs (circa 1915)
  • Improving ADA access to the monument by creating an accessible park entrance at 92nd street and using approved granite block materials
  • Addressing paving conditions throughout the island
  • Installing a new 6′ wide path to replace the existing ‘desire lines’ (eroded paths created by human traffic)
  • Repairing damaged fencing

The statue’s details are fascinating — the base is made out of stone from Rouen, France, where Joan of Arc was imprisoned, for instance. Locals celebrated it at a fundraising event earlier this year.


(existing layout)


(proposed updates)

During the Parks Department’s presentation, Community Board 7 Parks & Environment Committee members and local residents expressed concerns regarding the safety of the proposed 92nd street exit, as there are currently no stop signs slated to appear on any streets across the entire island.

Margaret Bracken, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation Landscape Architect/Chief of Design & Construction, reassured the Committee that the Parks Department plans to discuss stop signs, among other potential solutions, with the Department of Transportation to mitigate this concern.

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 5 comments | permalink
    1. GrumpyOldMan says:

      Wondereful news!! How long will it take for the bloated NYC Department of Parks bureaucracy to implement this project? Still waiting for the improvements, funded by Ms. Rosenthal, to the hardscape of Riverside Park. When will the hazards of the hill leading into the park at 91st
      Street be addressed?

    2. Beth Skobel says:

      Not a word about the woman who sculpted Joan. That might have been appropriate.

    3. Wendy says:

      Salut ! N.Y.C. may still have mo’ art work re Joan of Arc than : Mirebeau,, &, Poitiers in La France profonde; F-86110. Alan Arkin’s wife wrote a book @ Joan of Arc ? Near Teacher’s College; there was an event when there was a production of several versions of plays re J. of A.. My schoolmate, Peter Strauss was in the t.v.movie. n.b. the stigma of s00-
      called schizophrenia; v.s. official Christian saints & blesseds [categories]; who ‘heard’ G-d; &, other saints….n.b.l Butler’s Lives of the Saints. Happy 12 Days of Christmas. n.b. a book : The Burning Time.

    4. Nancy Wight says:

      Three cheers for Joan A. and for the sculptor herself: Anna Hyatt Huntington! More cheers for Helen Rosenthal. THANK YOU!!

      Nancy Wight