Feb. 28, 2022 By Michael Dorgan
A Forest Hills resident is looking to pay tribute to one of the neighborhood’s most famous fictional characters – Spiderman.
Larry Ng, a longtime Forest Hills resident, wants to erect a statue of the web-slinging super-hero at a public space in the neighborhood and is trying to rally the community around his plan.
Ng, who is retired, said there is no physical recognition of Spiderman in Forest Hills despite the fictional character Peter Parker – who turns into Spiderman — growing up in the neighborhood. Parker lived at 20 Ingram Street with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben, according to the original Marvel comic book series.
He said that a statue of the science whiz-kid-turned superhero would bring great joy and pride to the community, particularly for children who have been impacted by the pandemic.
“I really feel for the kids in the neighborhood because they’ve been locked up and the news has been all bad,” Ng said.
“And I thought if we had a statue of Spiderman in Forest Hills people would just light up and be happy.”
Ng said he decided to put his idea into action in January and began reaching out to residents to garner feedback. He also created a website for people to find out more information about the project and to leave comments.
“Everybody I have spoken to loves the project,” Ng said.
Ng said that statues play an important role in the lives of New Yorkers and help bring people together.
He said statues also bring life to communities and act as tourist attractions. He noted the significance of the Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island, Prometheus at the Rockefeller Center and the Charging Bull near Wall Street.
Ng said he has taken inspiration for the project from a Captain America statue that is on display in Brooklyn, where the fictional superhero is from. The 13-foot-tall statue was unveiled in 2016 by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who was serving as borough president at the time.
Ng said he reached out to David Cortes, who designed the Captain America statue, to see if he would create a Spiderman sculpture in Forest Hills and he has since agreed.
The Spiderman statue, Ng said, would likely be made out of bronze – similar to the Captain America statue – but he is open to the idea of it being made in color.
Ng said that the statue would take around six months to complete and would cost between $150,000 to $200,000. The project would be crowdfunded by donations made by the public, he said, but a fund will only be created when plans for the project become more advanced.
He said he has also pitched the idea to some Community Board 6 members who said they support the plan in principle and are willing to help him in his endeavor.
However, Ng said a difficult challenge with the project is finding a suitable location – and then getting official approval to erect the sculpture.
Ng said his preferred site for the statue is at MacDonald Park, located at 87-20 Queens Blvd., since it is in “the heart of Forest Hills” and is easily accessible. The park is situated next to the Forest Hills-71st Ave. subway station and around three blocks away from the 71st Ave. LIRR station.
Ng said he has identified a small plaza area on the northwestern corner of the park, at the intersection between Queens Blvd. and Yellowstone, for the Spiderman statue to be displayed. He said organizers will also need to get approval from the Parks Dept.
Another location is a plaza area in front of the United States Postal Service, across from the park, located at 106-28 Queens Blvd. The space is often used as a marketplace.
Ng is hoping to build more support for the statue over the coming weeks and says it will lift the spirits of the entire borough if it comes to fruition.
“I think it would be great for the whole borough of Queens,” Ng said.
“People are really excited about it.”