There are so many things to look at in a city like New York that some things become very familiar even though we have never taken the time to fully understand what they mean. For instance, when walking down Hyatt Street toward the bus shelter at the foot of Bay Street, there is a classical figure pointing toward the bay. Why is he doing that? I took a couple of pix there the other day, copied down the name Clarence Barrett and searched it online, and there are the facts, like magic. I still don’t know why he’s pointing, but I don’t really care so much, since I now know about Major Clarence T. Barrett.
Major Clarence T. Barrett was an important figure in Staten Island government during the post Civil War era and it is fitting that he should have such a pleasant peaceful triangle of green dedicated to his memory just above the bustle of Bay Street.
The memorial was moved to this location in 1945, and it is perfect spot. However, the water fountain was disconnected at that time, and the back of the base has deteriorated so much that the writing there is quite illegible. It may be too late to restore the text there, but if that small water fountain could be restored and reattached to the city’s water supply, that would make this a welcome oasis indeed. For more detailed information about Clarence Barrett and the Major Barrett Triangle, click here for Parks Department description.