While the plaza at 110th Street and Central Park West was named for Frederick Douglass in 1950, it would be decades before it included its modern commemorative features. The New York City government worked in partnership with the Conservancy to undertake a major redesign of the plaza in an effort to recognize the achievements of great African-Americans here at the "Gateway to Harlem.”
A 2003 design competition for the plaza selected a collaboration between local Harlem artist Algernon Miller and Hungarian-born sculptor Gabriel Koren for the project. Koren designed the statue of Douglass, and Miller undertook the overall design for the plaza itself, which reopened to the public in 2011.
While Frederick Douglass is an integral figure in American history, it took time for the 8-foot bronze sculpture and accompanying renovation of the area to come about.
Tags: About the Conservancy / History