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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Governors Island in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Pershing Hall

Governors Island

 
 
Pershing Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 10, 2011
1. Pershing Hall Marker
Inscription.
Constructed in 1934, Pershing Hall functioned continually as an Army and Coast Guard headquarters building until 1996. It was named in honor of John E. Pershing, General of the Armies and First Commander of the First Army in 1918. Pershing led all the American Army forces in World War I. The architect of Pershing Hall was Lorimer Rich, once an employee of the firm McKim, Meade & White, whose Island-wide plans and designs for many of its largest buildings shaped the look of 20th century Governors Island. Rich is best known for his design of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the National Cemetery at Arlington, Virginia.

During the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created to provide jobs for the country’s masses of unemployed. Part of this initiative was the Federal Arts Program (FAP), giving employment to countless artists and craftspeople. Many Governors Island buildings were updated or expanded as part of the WPA program, and Pershing Hall benefited from a FAP commission to Tom Loftin Johnson for murals to adorn its principal hallways. Major Johnson, a well-known muralist, went on to paint a famous mural on the history of warfare for a dining hall at West Point Military Academy. He later became an art instructor there.

Johnson’s 90 foot mural in Pershing Hall depicts American military history
Pershing Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 10, 2011
2. Pershing Hall Marker
including General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox in the American Civil War, the War of 1812 and the building’s namesake General Pershing on the battlefield during World War I.

Visitors can view these unique murals just up the stairs in the building’s main halls.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects marker series.
 
Location. 40° 41.471′ N, 74° 0.845′ W. Marker is in Governors Island, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Andes Road, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located in the Historic District on Governors Island. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10004, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The New York Arsenal (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Pershing Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); The Pershing Oak (within shouting distance of this marker); The Governor’s House (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Governor’s House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named The Governors House
Marker on Governors Island image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 10, 2011
3. Marker on Governors Island
(about 300 feet away); Governors Island (about 300 feet away); The Dutch and Governors Island (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Governors Island.
 
More about this marker. A photo of Tom Loftin Johnson working on the murals in Pershing Hall appears at the upper right of the marker. Below this is a picture of “Soldiers in the War of 1812 in one part of Tom Loftin Johnson’s mural of military history.”
 
Also see . . .
1. Biography of General John Joseph Pershing. (Submitted on September 15, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
2. History of Governors Island. The Trust for Governors Island website. (Submitted on September 15, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

3. Governors Island. New York Harbor Parks website. (Submitted on September 15, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

4. Governors Island National Monument. National Park Service website. (Submitted on September 15, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Notable BuildingsWar, World I
 
Pershing Hall image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 10, 2011
4. Pershing Hall
The entrance to Pershing Hall is seen here.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 15, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 392 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 15, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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