Princess Anne says garden will grow at Hanover Sq.

By Albert Amateau

Downtown Express photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio

Princess Anne accepted a bouquet of flowers from her near- namesake on Hanover Sq. – Ann Ketring.

Ann Ketring, 8, who lives on Hanover Sq., presented a bouquet to Her Royal Highness Princess Anne on the damp afternoon of April 29 at the ceremony announcing the creation of the British Memorial Garden in Hanover Sq.

The Princess Royal, wearing a sky-blue jacket and black skirt, proclaimed the garden would be “a distinctively British contribution to a city with long ties to Britain and serve not only as a memorial of the events of Sept. 11 but a memorial to Britons who died side by side with Americans in many wars, most recently in Iraq.”

The Princess, daughter of Queen Elizabeth II, presented Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe with a collection of flower seeds from the Royal Palaces of Britain in a mahogany box carved by Viscount Linley, her cousin.

Benepe greeted the princess on behalf of Mayor Bloomberg and opened the ceremony in the public square located a few blocks from ground zero. Guests at the event included Carl Weisbrod, president of the Downtown Alliance and City Councilmember Alan Gerson.

Julian and Isabel Bannerman, British landscape architects whose design concept was chosen over five competitors, are designing the garden, which is sponsored by the Friends of the British Memorial Gardens in conjunction with the British Consul General in New York, Sir Thomas Harris, and the St. George Society, a group of British citizens living in New York.

The Bannerman concept for the garden, which is expected to open in the summer of next year, involves formal plantings, yew trees and topiary shrubs. A juried competition is taking place for British sculptors for a sculpture for the garden. The seated statue of Abraham de Peyster (Mayor 1692-4) currently in Hanover Sq. will be moved, but the new location has not been decided.

The $2.5 million to build and maintain the park is being raised by public subscription.


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