Make it so!
Starship Enterprise captain and Park Slope resident Sir Patrick Stewart is throwing his weight behind a controversial theory that the bodies of hundreds of Revolutionary War heroes are buried beneath an vacant lot in Gowanus — and he wants a memorial placed there so that history never forgets the name “Maryland 400.”
Stewart claimed in a recent Gentleman’s Quarterly interview that the empty Ninth Street site is the final resting place of the famed band of soldiers — who died saving General Washington’s rebel army from annihilation during the Battle of Brooklyn — and said he has personally petitioned Mayor DeBlasio to install a monument to them there, to which Hizzoner replied, “I’m on it.”
“All it is is a concreted-over car park, but underneath the concrete is the mass grave,” said Stewart, whose “Star Trek” character was a noted archeology buff. “It’s worth making, I think, a bit of a fuss of.”
The thespian, who settled in a $2.5-million duplex penthouse on Seventh Street in 2012, told the men’s fashion journal that the lot between Third and Fourth avenues is home to the mass grave containing some, if not all, of the more-than 200 slain heroes whose bodies were unceremoniously discarded by King George’s troops following a heroic rear-guard action that bought Washington the time he needed to slip across the East River.
The theory has long been shared by Brooklyn Heights historian Bob Furman, who has been petitioning the city to perform a rigorous archeological dig there to prove once and for all what lies beneath the currently-undeveloped real estate.
Naturally, Furman sent Stewart a letter in response to the article, asking the esteemed actor do endorse his archeological endeavors — but he is yet to hear back.
“I was hoping he would publicly express his support and interest for doing proper archeology at the site,” Furman said. “I didn’t get a response.”
But you can’t blame the Federation hero for wanting to keep a low profile on this one, Furman said — it became a hot-button political issue last year when the city proposed building a pre-kindergarten facility on the site, which will be held up if anything of historical value is discovered there, and the British knight probably doesn’t want to get involved.
“He’s not a political person really,” said Furman. “He’s an actor.”
Furman was, however, able to shed light on the idea that DeBlasio is “on it” in regards to erecting a memorial — he says he has asked the mayor on numerous occasions for the very same thing, and that’s exactly what he said.
“Every time I raised this with DeBlasio, he would say, ‘I’m on it,’ ” Furman said. “He said the same thing to Stewart, but the city is not interested in preserving the site, they’re interested in the pre-k school. So I pointed that out to him in the letter.”
Neither the Mayor’s office nor Stewart returned requests for comment.