Ed Kirkland served as a Private First Class in the U.S. Army during World War II (1944-45). Ed participated in the Battle of the Rhineland and was held as a Prisoner of War for two months in northern Germany before he was liberated by the British. He was honorably discharged in December 1945 and was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the Victory Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.
After the war, Ed completed college and attended graduate school before settling in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood, where he has lived ever since. For the past 29 years, Ed has served as a member of Manhattan Community Board 4, and is perhaps best known for his leadership of its Chelsea Preservation & Planning Committee and its Landmarks Task Force. Ed is also a founder of the Chelsea Waterside Park Association, a past president of the Hudson River Park Advisory Council and a former co-chairperson of the Historic Districts Council’s Designation Committee. A computer analyst by trade, after he saw his historic, low-rise neighborhood threatened by development and his long-time neighbors at risk of displacement, Ed became a self-taught expert in land use, zoning and historic preservation.
While Ed has had a hand in almost every significant initiative affecting his community over the past 30 years, his greatest achievements have included chairing the subcommittee that developed the Chelsea 197-a Plan, and successfully advocating for its enactment as New York City’s first community-initiated zoning plan; the expansion and reopening of Chelsea Waterside Park; and the designation of the West Chelsea Historic District.
With the same honor that Ed served our country in the World War II, he has served his Chelsea community for decades. All who know him honor his military service and passionate civic involvement.