Sergeant William Dougherty Park in Greenpoint was refurbished as part of the $837 million reconstruction of the Kosciuszko Bridge.
The $12 million project was funded by Governor Andrew Cuomo, adding to the state’s push to build or improve 34 pocket parks, community gardens, playgrounds and recreation centers within a 10-minute walk of every Brooklyn resident.
“Public parks are integral to our communities,” Cuomo said, “and this new and expanded open space will be a vibrant new attraction for local families and residents.”
The Brooklyn-Queens Expressway was realigned slightly to the south during the Kosciuszko Bridge construction. As a result, Sergeant Dougherty Park was reconfigured from a square into a rectangle. The park is now slightly bigger, extending farther east toward Porter Avenue.
The renovated space now has a playground, skate park, basketball court, handball courts, a spray shower area and comfort station. It will be owned and operated by the city’s Parks Departments.
The park is named after World War II hero Sergeant William Dougherty, a Brooklyn native who played in the park when he was young. Cuomo said his legacy will live on through the park.
Last week, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul joined local officials and members of Dougherty’s family to officially open the park.
“Like with Sergeant Dougherty when he was young, this park will be a great place for residents to connect and play,” Hochul said, “and continues our efforts to advance development and opportunities in Brooklyn.”
Dougherty, an Army National Guardsman, died on July 9, 1944, in a battle at Saipan, in the Pacific Ocean. He was a member of the “Fighting Sixty-Ninth,” an infantry regiment in the U.S. Army.
The war hero was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. The park was renamed in his honor in 1948.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said the opening of the renovated park signifies the realization of a “long-promised transformation.”
“This park has seen improvements over the past 60 years,” she said, “but today, we finally see it reach its full potential.”
“Sergeant William Dougherty gave his life for our country,” added Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, “and there is no better way to honor a man who gave back than by giving this park back to the community.”