Selected from a list of five finalists, runner-ups included “Dodger,” “Emily,” “Harmony” and “Winged Wonder.” the Eagle’s new name honors the late Brooklyn Borough President Raymond V. Ingersoll, who was a fervent advocate for the building of the central library.
“The extended family of former Borough President Raymond V. Ingersoll is honored that Ingersoll the Eagle will soar in the Brooklyn Public Library as an inspiring tribute to my grandfather’s legacy of service to the borough of Brooklyn,” said Raymond V. Ingersoll II, the grandson of the former borough president.
Raymond Ingersoll served as borough president from 1934 to 1940 and focused on improving the highways and bridges, advocating for low-rent housing and pushing for the completion of the central library which had stalled to a lack of funding.
“It is a great lack in the borough’s educational and cultural equipment and should not be tolerated in so great a community,” Ingersoll decried in 1936 the deficit of a central library for the borough.
When he died unexpectedly during his second term in office, his wife Marion Crary Ingersoll donated his salary to the library, according to the BPL.
The Eagle originally nested atop the Washington Street headquarters of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle newspaper. Following the demolition of the newspaper’s building in 1955, the sculpture was donated to the Brooklyn Historical Society. In 1997, the organization loaned the sculpture to the library. Last summer, BHS officially gifted the Eagle to BPL, where it now has its permanent home.
“We are grateful to the Brooklyn Historical Society for their generous gift,” said Linda E. Johnson, BPL’s president and CEO. “As the complete archives of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle comprise a significant part of the Brooklyn Collection, it is fitting to provide the sculpture a permanent home at the central library, and we are delighted to name him Raymond Ingersoll after one of the library’s most enthusiastic champions.”