Restored plaza in Queens dedicated to women

- Queens Borough President Melinda Katz on Tuesday introduced a new public space named Women's Plaza in Queens. If you couldn't guess, it is dedicated to the women of Queens.

"A place where little kids are going to walk by and say, 'Mom, Dad, why is this dedicated to women?' And they will be told of the greatness of the women that came from Queens," Katz said.

The plaza at the northeast corner of Union Turnpike and Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens was in disrepair until May 2016 when the restoration project began. The city put in $960,000 to restore the stonework and revamp the rest of the area.

"I think women are appreciated and [have] always been appreciated, but now that there is an actual symbol that represents us, it just makes it bigger," said Inmaculada Gattas, a resident of Kew Gardens. "It magnifies who we are and what we are in the 21st Century.

The borough president considers the revitalization to be extra special because the space used to be home to a sculpture called Triumph of Civic Virtue. Katz said the structure was controversial because it depicts a man standing on top of two female figures. In 2012, it was moved to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn where it was restored.

A spokesperson for Green-Wood said the structure is an allegory depicting Virtue standing in triumph over Vice, and that it was not meant to have any negative connotations.

That the new plaza in Queens sends a message of hope and equality is not in dispute, though.

"It's so important in this day and age, you know we are fighting about inclusivity… equality of men and women," Corona resident George Onuorah said.

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