National Park Service Seeks Return of Missing Jacob Riis Bust
This summer Jacob Riis Park will celebrate its 75th anniversary, but as of right now, there is something missing…the bust of the man for whom the park is named. It once occupied a place of honor on the western mall of the park, but now all that remains is a pedestal with Riis's name. The bronze statue was stolen sometime in the 1960's or 70's.
Rumor has it that it was taken as a prank sometime during that time, but it was never returned and may be sitting forgotten in someone's basement or garage. The National Parks Service is hopeful that someone knows the whereabouts of this important piece of Jacob Riis Park history and is able to return it. District Ranger Rita Mullally said, "It would be wonderful to have the Jacob Riis bust returned in time for the 75th anniversary celebrations this summer. I can't think of any better tribute to the man for whom the park is named, and who meant so much to this city, than returning the bust to its rightful place. We will be grateful for its return, and no questions will be asked." Ranger Mullally can be reached at 718-318-4301.
Jacob Riis Park's 75th Anniversary celebration will begin on Memorial Day weekend with a beach campfire program on Friday, May 25 and the 75th Anniversary "Kick off to Summer Parade" on Saturday, May 26. The celebration will continue all summer long with special programming.
Look for upcoming articles in future issues on Jacob Riis's remarkable life and the history of the park.