Lt. William Tighe
by Guy Johnson
RING is located on NYC Parkland in the triangular area created as Riverside Drive, Broadway, and Dyckman Street intersect. This area was originally called Inwood Plaza until 1950 when the name was changed by the City Council to Lt. William Tighe Triangle.
Lt. William Tighe, (1887-1944), an Inwood community leader and a veteran of two world wars, was born in England on February 7, 1887, to parents of Irish descent, John Tighe and Mary Dixon. William eventually moved to Inwood and lived at 200 Dyckman Street, working as a clerk in various locales. Active in both World War I and World War II, Lt. Tighe was decorated several times. Between the two wars, he was an active member of the American Legion and the Catholic War Veterans, while working as the secretary of the Inwood Chamber of Commerce. During World War II, Lt. Tighe became incapacitated and was taken to the Veterans Hospital Base 81 nearby Kingsbridge Road in the Bronx, where he died on September 27, 1944.
It was Lt. Tighe who started the tradition of placing a Christmas tree in the triangle every year, a tradition which RING continues, but with a live spruce tree. In 1990, neighborhood volunteers turned the asphalted triangle into an oasis of beauty.
(An article on this topic is posted at Washington heights & Inwood Online.)