NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – After 40 years, and many starts and stops, a new memorial park in honor of America’s 32nd president will soon be open to the public.
CBS 2′s Ann Mercogliano was on hand for Wednesday’s dedication ceremony for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island.
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It was the dedication of a New York City park honoring a national hero. Members of FDR’s family cut the ribbon. The granddaughter of the former president said while Roosevelt didn’t think much of memorials, he would have loved this one.
“I think he would be extremely honored and happy,” Anna Eleanor Roosevelt said.
After four decades worth of court battles, money struggles and uncertainty, the park is finally ready.
Korean War veteran Ralph Lawrence said he followed the developments closely.
“It’s wonderful to see [and] forget the tragedies of the past,” Lawrence said.
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The park is named Four Freedoms Park after the 1941 state of the union address, given just before World War II.
Politicians, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and former President Bill Clinton, were on hand marking the occasion.
“America is still inspired by FDR’s ideas and ideals,” Clinton said.
The architect, Louis Kahn, didn’t live to see the park’s opening. His family, however, was there.
“It captures him, sleek and beautiful,” said Riva Kahn Hallock, the architect’s niece.
More than 100 trees outline it. In the center is a 1,000-pound bronze portrait of FDR.
There is a direct view across the East River to the United Nation complex, of which Roosevelt is considered the founder.
FDR grew up in New York, was once the governor of New York and now will be memorialized in New York City for years to come.
The park is slated to open to the public soon once final touches are made. The total cost of the project, according to park officials, was roughly $53 million.
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