Over a century ago, the "unsinkable" British luxury liner the Titanic was bound for New York City on her maiden voyage when she collided with an iceberg and sank, causing the deaths of 1,514 people.
Many prominent and wealthy New Yorkers were passengers on the Titanic—including Ida and Isidor Straus and Mr. and Mrs. John Jacob Astor. New York City has built several memorials to remember the tragedy and those lost in the sinking of the Titanic.
Titanic Memorial Park at South Street Seaport
Titanic Memorial Park is a small park at the entrance to the South Street Seaport. The centerpiece of the park is a 1913 lighthouse that commemorates the tragedy.
The lighthouse was originally installed on top of the Seamen's Church Institute at South Street and Coenties Slip and was moved to its current location in 1976 after the church was demolished. Following a recent $1.2 million renovation, the park now includes a central seating area and landscaping.
Wireless Operators Memorial in Battery Park
The Wireless Operators Memorial in Battery Park honors wireless operators lost at sea -- including Jack Phillips, the operator who perished aboard the S.S. Titanic. Author Willa Cather once commented on the Wireless Operators Memorial:
This monument is one of the most attractive and most friendly commemorative works in New York…these men died in storm and terror, but their names are brought together here and abide in a pleasant place with cheerful companionship.
William T. Stead Memorial in Central Park
In Central Park, north of Engineers’ Gate at 91st Street and Fifth Avenue, you'll find a memorial to William T. Stead. Stead was a British journalist who reportedly heroically rescued others before dying aboard the Titanic. This memorial was erected in 1920 and features a portrait of Stead flanked by a knight and angel.
The Straus Memorial is located at Broadway and 106th Street and honors the loss of Isidor and Ida Straus. Isidor Straus helped turn Macy's into the world's largest department store and was one of the most prominent of those lost on the Titanic.
Ida was offered a seat in one of the lifeboats but instead chose to stay on the doomed ship with her husband. The Straus Memorial features a bronze reclining female figure of Memory, a granite bench, and floral beds. An inscription reads:
Lovely and pleasant were they in their lives…And in their death they were not divided.”