Actor Patrick Stewart is once again boldly going where few men have gone before in his battle to create a memorial for Revolutionary War soldiers.
Beneath an empty lot at 170 8th Street in Gowanus are supposedly the graves of soldiers from the Maryland 400 — men who held back invading British soldiers so that Gen. George Washington could retreat during the Battle of Brooklyn. And Sir Stewart — who resides in nearby Park Slope — is adding his star power to a group of preservationists that hope to honor the soldier’s sacrifice, according to the New York Post.
“Over 200 were buried here,” he told GQ magazine. “I’ve told you the story, and all it is is a concreted-over car park, but underneath the concrete is the mass grave. It’s worth making, I think, a bit of a fuss of.”
The privately owned lot has been earmarked for a new school and Stewart recently made a personal appeal to Mayor Bill de Blasio to erect a memorial on the lot.
However, some are skeptical that the lot really is the site of the graves — including the city.
“As part of an ongoing environmental review, the Landmarks Preservation Commission is coordinating with State Historic Preservation Office on this archaeological question,” de Blasio spokeswoman Melissa Grace said in a statement. “We note that, at this time, no one knows the location of these burials or the likelihood of remains being found at this location.” [NYP]