Riverfront Park Renamed For Pete and Toshi

Riverfront Park Renamed For Pete and Toshi

The Beacon City Council officially passed a resolution earlier this evening renaming Riverfront Park. The new name is the Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park. After Mayor Randy Casale read the resolution into the public record, it was passed unanimously by the council. The mayor has also appointed a committee to carry out the further resolution,  “that the City shall support the design and construction of a memorial and plaque to be erected in the Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park to honor the Seegers memory and to inform the public of its renaming.”

Update: Ceremony Held at Strawberry Festival, New Sign Unveiled

George Mansfield, who is on the committee with fellow council members Lee Kyriacou and Peggy Ross, as well as former council member Sara Pasti, noted that a temporary sign, designed and constructed by Fabhaus and Wickham Solid Wood Studio, will be unveiled at the Strawberry Festival on Sunday, June 15.

George stressed that this sign was temporary, and the committee is tasked with putting out a call to the international art community to come up with a memorial for the Seegers. A second committee, which will include the Seeger family, will work to chose one of the submissions to be the permanent remembrance of Pete and Toshi at the park. Depending on the nature of the selected work, art foundry Polich/Tallix has offered assistance.

Feature photo, Pete and Toshi at the Beacon Sloop Club, March, 1994, by Ari Mintz.

Here is the resolution in full:

WHEREAS, Pete Seeger, the nationally renowned musician and activist, and his wife, Toshi Seeger, have been residents of the Beacon area since 1949; and
WHEREAS, in addition to their national exploits advocating on issues such as labor, civil rights and the environment, the Seegers have been prominent and constant fixtures in the Beacon community for more than 60 years through their efforts to revitalize and restore Beacon’s waterfront area and the Hudson River; and
WHEREAS, the Seegers helped improve the City of Beacon and the lives of its residents through their many accomplishments, including the co-founding of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, which is harbored in Beacon and has its headquarters at Beacon’s University Settlement Camp, and the creation of the Beacon Riverfront Park; and
WHEREAS, by opening access to Beacon’s waterfront and leading the charge to turn long neglected waterfront properties into a fully revitalized park for the public’s enjoyment, the Seegers demonstrated vision, advocacy and love for the City of Beacon and its residents which has inspired and will continue to inspire members of our community for generations to come; and
WHEREAS, Toshi Seeger passed away on July 9, 2013; and
WHEREAS, Pete Seeger passed away on January 27, 2014; and
WHEREAS, the City of Beacon owns the Beacon Riverfront Park (the “Riverfront Park”) which the Seegers helped to create; and
WHEREAS, in memory of the Seegers and their countless contributions to our community, the City Council, on behalf of the City and its residents, wishes to rename the Riverfront Park after Pete and Toshi Seeger to help preserve their legacy.
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council of the City of Beacon hereby renames the Beacon Riverfront Park the “Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park;” and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City shall support the design and construction of a memorial and plaque to be erected in the Pete and Toshi Seeger Riverfront Park to honor the Seegers memory and to inform the public of its renaming.


27 Responses to Riverfront Park Renamed For Pete and Toshi

  1. Angie Elis Webster says:

    Thanks MR.

    Re Pete & Toshi memorial City of Beacon Tribute…(oops! not committee)!
    I understand your gist, different use of the term City and my poor terminology!
    The great thing is.. ‘lots of locals pulled-together and got this done! I guess you’re right ~ No Pete without Toshi! they were…’like peas and carrots’ amazing together!
    Sad I can’t get to Clearwater Festival this June ..Atlantic distances being huge; I will simply sail around the Isle of Wight and think.. it’s my big idea next June to be there, sail on Clearwater, camp out and sing along.. regards

  2. Having had the privilege back in the day of performing with Pete I am thrilled that he and Toshi are being honored. He was a great mentor.

  3. I think this is wonderful news that the city of Beacon has chosen to honor the memory of Pete and Toshie Seeger by renaming the Riverfront Park after them. Very fitting tribute to them both.

  4. Myra Craig says:

    Oh how wonderful! A special tribute for a great and talented couple!!

  5. Nora says:

    This is a wonderful thing!!!

  6. Jan Marie Paulus says:

    I am so happy to hear this good news!! Honoring this wonderful couple is totally great!!!!

  7. Sue says:

    “…to honor the Seegers memory and to inform the public of its renaming.”

    That should be Seegers’ – plural possesive.
    Thank you –
    The Apostrophe Police

  8. BillKing says:

    This just made me smile today so Awesome. But I can see The Conservative Right going nuts over naming a part for a Communist you know what tough do-do Pete and Toshi were National Treasures

  9. Jim Simpson says:

    I think a great memorial would be a statue of Pete and Toshi overlooking the Hudson. Pete would have to be holding his banjo of course.

    • David Rocco says:

      It should Pete holding hands with Toshi with his banjo hanging over his back!

  10. Sue says:


  11. Brian says:

    I think a nice memorial would be a big gazebo designed to look like Pete’s banjo. I don’t know what the park’s rules on acoustic music being played there, but if its frowned upon, maybe they could make an exception for people gathered in the gazebo? ..just a thought.

    • Jeffery Peterson says:

      Even if the Council “frowns” upon the playing of music in the park, Pete would no doubt smile if we played there anyway!

    • MR says:

      This park is the site of many concerts, both acoustic and amplified. Nobody would stop someone from playing a guitar or a banjo on a whim.

  12. Gary Watkins says:

    Great news. Now let’s dedicate the entire Seeger New York homelands into a National Heritage site for the world to appreciate what it means to dedicate one’s entire life to caring.
    Gary R. Watkins

    • MR says:

      Let’s not forget there are still plenty of Seegers. It’s not like the Madame Brett Homestead and all her extensive holdings passed into the public domain the year she passed on. I believe her descendents lived on what remained of her property until just before they tried to build an A&P supermarket where the main house is located. In any case, I don’t believe that would be a decision that originates from the public at large.

  13. Jennifer Baratta says:

    Wonderful honor for a great man and his wife. Very honored and proud to have met him and watched him perform.

    • MR says:

      From what little I know, I believe it’s pretty safe to say there is no Pete Seeger without Toshi Seeger — Pete just happened to be the front man. This renaming and memorial helps make that clear.

  14. Nancy Yambem says:

    A most fitting tribute, thank you all for doing this!

  15. gnnagaraj says:

    from India , highly appreciate this gesture of the beacon city council

  16. Jim says:

    This clearly is the right thing to do. I look forward to being there June 15th.

  17. Gregory Mead says:

    To quote another great man:
    “It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.”

    • Angie elis webster says:

      My heart is full of joy to hear this news!
      Early on in February, I wrote this too.. on a discussion page..
      The river beach park is simply the most natural tribute! Far away here in London..UK it matters so’ to know others and ‘a committee’ feel this place to be a ‘heartfelt tribute to a ..special couple.

    • MR says:

      Hi Angie, thanks for your comment. Just to be clear, the committee is just tasked with running the memorial solicitations; it is the City of Beacon and its citizens who have created the resolution renaming the park in honor of the Seegers.