Honoring Lincoln in the heart of S.C.


The Village of Sea Cliff will celebrate the rededication of Lincoln Plaza on July 4, following the traditional reading of the Declaration of Independence on the Village Green. The ceremony will renew the community’s tribute to Abraham Lincoln, underscoring the former president’s enduring legacy and the village’s commitment to the spirit of community and civic cooperation.

Lincoln Plaza was originally dedicated on July 4, 2014 under the initiative of then-trustee Ed Lieberman, later village mayor. The plaza, at the corner of Roslyn and Sea Cove Avenue, transformed a simple slab of concrete into a welcoming sitting area adorned with brickwork, planters, and plaques.

“The project was a collaborative effort involving many volunteers,” said Lieberman. “We raised funds and received donations of time and materials to create a space that reflects Lincoln’s spirit and the community’s values.”

Lieberman explained that the genesis of Lincoln Plaza can be traced back to the 1960s when the site was home to a Bohack’s grocery store, a popular chain at the time. The area served as a waiting spot where shoppers would sit on benches beneath shade trees.

In the 1980s, a small plaque with a quote from Lincoln was installed, and the space was recognized as a point of interest in a Sea Cliff Village Museum pamphlet. The quote read: “I like to see a man proud of the community in which he lives.”

Over the years, the original trees died and the benches deteriorated. In 2014, Lieberman, then a trustee, sought to revitalize the area. The project culminated in a dedication ceremony featuring Lincoln impersonator and Sea Cliff native Donald Mullen and community members gathered to celebrate the refurbished plaza.

“I put together an effort to have it designed as a civic, community-minded sitting area and to basically employ the full quote of Lincoln,” he explained.

A decade later, the need for restoration has arisen again. The plaques weathered significantly prompting Lieberman to spearhead the rededication efforts.

“Through the years the plaques have been weathered, and they just weren’t presentable anymore,” Lieberman said. “After 10 years, after I was done with my mayorship, this became a goal of mine, to end up my tenure-ship with something that I kind of sponsored.”

With the support of the village administration and the community, new plaques have been commissioned, and funds have been raised to restore the plaza. The new plaques will include the full quote from Lincoln, which reads: “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live in it so that his place will be proud of him.”

Elena Villafane, the mayor of Sea Cliff and a trustee when Lincoln Plaza was dedicated a decade ago, expressed her support for the project. Her administration worked closely with Lieberman and volunteers, and she added that she looks forward to seeing the plaza restored.
“This effort has been spearheaded by Mayor Lieberman and supported by the entire administration, is about bringing Lincoln Plaza back to its former glory,” she said. “The plaques had sustained significant weather damage, and Mayor Lieberman undertook to initiate a process and plan to replace them and rededicate that lovely corner of our village.”

The rededication ceremony will include patriotic songs performed by local singer Kathy Virgilio. Lieberman added that Deputy Mayor Nick Pinto will emcee the event.

Part of the event’s importance comes from the fact that Lincoln’s influence resonates deeply in Sea Cliff. Villafane emphasized that many village residents, as well as Americans around the country, still look to ‘Honest Abe’ as an example of what it means to be a good citizen of one’s nation.

“Lincoln gave us so much to emulate,” said Villafane. “As local leaders, we look to his guidance for how to govern and encourage our community. The plaque encapsulates both Lincoln’s leadership and our commitment to volunteerism and community service.”

The ceremony is expected to begin at approximately 11:30 a.m., following the Declaration of Independence reading at 10 a.m. on the Village Green. The village invites all residents and visitors to join in the celebration and reflect on the values that Lincoln and the Sea Cliff community uphold.

For those interested in contributing to the ongoing maintenance of Lincoln Plaza, donations can be made by contacting Lieberman directly at elieberman614@gmail.com.