City Rededicates World War I Cannon in Washington Square Park

CITY OF ROCHESTER NEWS RELEASE The City of Rochester rededicated the monument of the World War I Austrian howitzer cannon at Washington Square Park today. “This monument reflects an important part of Rochester’s history and it deserves a rightful place in public view,” said Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “As we prepare to celebrate Veterans Day, I am proud to see this cannon restored in one of Rochester’s oldest park. By preserving our city’s history, we are strengthening the foundation on which we are building our future through the creation of more jobs, safer more vibrant neighborhoods and better educational opportunities for our citizens.” The howitzer cannon was installed in Washington Square Park in 1921. It was gift to the City of Rochester from the people of Italy in recognition of the more than 1,400 young men of Italian descent from Rochester who fought in World War I. It was captured by the Italian Army from Austria after the Battle of Vittorio Veneto in 1918. The cannon had fallen into disrepair and was removed to storage several years ago. The City contracted Historical Ordnance Works, of Woodstock, Ga. to refurbish the cannon. The rededication of the cannon also underscored a series of improvements that are underway and planned for Washington Square Park. The City Department of Environmental Services, which administered the cannon’s restoration, has cleaned and restored the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in the park, which included the replacement of lost medallions. The City also removed a dilapidated wooden stage from the park, trimmed trees, restored part of the lawn and is installing new lighting to illuminate the monument.' Additionally, the Washington Square Park Neighborhood Association has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Rochester Area Community Foundation to develop a new Master Plan for the park in cooperation with the City. The Association will be working with the Community Design Center of Rochester and the City to begin a planning process in the coming months. Dedicated in 1817, Washington Square Park is one of 14 City-owned parks in Downtown Rochester. Plans are underway to upgrade several of Downtown Parks, including Erie Harbor and Genesee Crossroads parks.
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