STATEN ISLAND — Beneath a constellation of LED lights and the historic columns of Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan, four influential leaders were honored for their efforts to improve Staten Island.
The National Parks of New York Harbor Conservancy’s 10th anniversary benefit dinner took place in the same hall where George Washington was sworn in as president in 1789.
The building now houses a museum honoring National Parks like Staten Island’s Fort Wadsworth and Great Kills Park.
The conservancy is currently planning to revamp recreational activities at the two parks, and chose to honor the “luminaries leading the resurgence of Staten Island,” they said.
Those honorees include Staten Island Advance Publisher Caroline Diamond Harrison; David Barry, the president of development at Ironstate, which built Urby Staten Island; Joseph Ferrara, principal of BFC Partners, which is building the Empire Outlets; and Richard Marin, CEO of the New York Wheel.
The benefit also featured a keynote by New York Times Urban Affairs Correspondent Sam Roberts on “A History of the National Parks of New York Harbor in 13 Objects,” as well as a special performance by the Howard Fishman Quartet.
The evening celebrated the conservancy’s creation of “America’s Largest Urban National Campground” at Fort Wadsworth and Battery Weed, a Gateway National Recreation Area.
The campground will be the focus of the conservancy’s efforts over the next decade, along with the restoration and reinvention of Federal Hall National Memorial, where the benefit was held. The hall was the site of the nation’s first capitol and, built in 1842, New York’s first Custom House for the port.