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Located between West 150th Street and St.Nicholas Place, Donnellan Square is a small park in Hamilton Heights, New York. The memorial was created to commemorate Private Timothy Donnellan, who was a resident of Hamilton Heights. Donellan was an Irish immigrant who came to the United States in 1916. Donnellan enlisted himself to serve in the 69th Infantry of New York.


  • Sign of Donnellan Square, Hamilton Heights
  • View of Donnellan Square, Hamilton Heights
  • View of Hamilton Heights from Donnellan Square

Donnellan Square is located in Hamilton Heights, which is the upper part of Manhattan. It is relatively small compared to other memorials in New York City that is dedicated to World War I.1However, Donnellan Square serves as a place for comfort and peace for Hamilton Heights Residents. The square has six benches and four trash cans that the residents can use. Because of its cheerful and serene location, many locals enjoy what the park has to offer. When I was there, there were children playing around the park and older generation reading newspaper while drinking coffee. 

Timothy Donnellan served in the 69th Infantry of NY. 69th Infantry was part of the famous “Rainbow Division”. 69th Infantry Regiment was activated in October of 1917.3 The Division arrived in France in November and December of 1917 and trained in Eastern France. During its time in France, the 42nd Division participated in six major campaigns and incurred one-out-of-sixteen casualties suffered by the American Army during the war.2 It was considered to be one of the bravest and courageous infantry division in WW I. Famous members include William Donovan, Francis Duffy, Michael Donaldson.

The square is filled with interesting and fascinating facts. The square has a large spelling problem. New York City record only has a record of “John Donnellon” who lived at 480 Covenant Ave, Hamilton Heights and fought for the war. On the other hand, Timothy Donnellan did fight in the war but doesn't have any record. Interestingly, New York City Department of Park and Recreation ignored the spelling problem.4 Also, the square shows a heartbroken story between Timothy Donnellan and Mrs. Thomas Loonan, sister of Timothy Donnellan. She receives a letter stating that her brother had been killed from defending post on May 30 of 1918. On the same date, she receives a letter from Donnellan that he was in good health and ready to fight the enemy.1

Works Cited

1. NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. “Donnellan Square.” Donnellan Square: NYC Parks, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, Accessed 31 October. ,www.nycgovparks.org/parks/donnellan-square. 

2.The Fighting 69th Infantry Division – Unit Histories.” 69th Infantry Division – Unit Histories, The Fighting 69th Infantry Division, 24 Oct. 2017, www.69th-infantry-division.com/histories/history.html.

3.“WWI.” Rainbow Division Veterans Memorial Foundation Inc, Rainbow Division Veterans Memorial Foundation, 2 Feb. 2016, www.rainbowvets.org/wwi.

4. Feirstein, Sanna. “The West Side.” Naming New York: Manhattan Places & How They Got Their Names, New York University Press, 2001, pp. 162–162.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Sung In Jeon (November 2, 2017)

Sung In Jeon (November 2, 2017)

Sung In Jeon (November 2, 2017)