Nassau County’s Sept. 11 memorial at Eisenhower Park has fallen into disrepair, with broken tiles and peeling paint at the site that honors the memory of the county’s residents killed in the terror attacks.
Officials said “substandard materials,” the ravages of winter and other factors were to blame for the state of the memorial, which opened in 2007 and cost more than $2 million to build. The memorial in the East Meadow park includes steel beams salvaged from the World Trade Center.
“There’s a lot of important structures around the county, but there’s probably nothing that affects people more than that,” said Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), who reached out to County Executive Edward Mangano about the state of the memorial. “It has to be a priority.”
“The parks department will execute its after-winter maintenance plan as well as review whether additional capital improvements are necessary to update the monument,” Mangano said in a statement.
Mary Studdert, a parks department spokeswoman, said the county has invested more than $500,000 in recent years to maintain the site.
“Winter takes its toll on outside facilities and the memorial was unfortunately constructed nearly a decade ago with substandard materials,” she said. “Every spring, the county makes it a priority to clean, power wash, prime, paint and restore the memorial.”
Disrepair at the memorial is extensive. Marble tiles around the fountain are broken or missing, paint is peeling in multiple spots and the floodlights meant to light the aluminum towers are missing.
Parts of a chain-link gate surrounding the monument are gone, wood planters have rotted, a metallic sign at the entrance is rusted and weeds are overgrown.
Three flags hovering over the memorial — POW/MIA, United States and Nassau County — have been damaged by wind and birds.
Ian Siegel, who, as a top aide to former county Executive Thomas Suozzi was president of the nonprofit that raised money for the memorial, said that even if its original construction has created maintenance issues, “this is something the county should invest the time and resources to look after.”