by Kevin Walsh

While the recently deceased [February 2013] mayor Ed Koch has had the Queensboro Bridge subnamed for him during his lifetime, and there was a push to name the 77th Street Lexington Avenue Line subway stop serving the #6 train for him after his decease, his successor also has a spot named for him.

Exit the #7 train at Mets/Willets Point, walk the boardwalk over the Corona Subway Yards and you will be in a circular plaza surrounded by flags as well as commemorative mosaics from the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs. This is David Dinkins Plaza, named after the 106th and first (to date, only) African-American NYC mayor, elected in 1989 and serving one term.

Why here? Dinkins, a big tennis buff, was instrumental in getting the nearby Arthur Ashe Stadium built.



fdr February 5, 2013 - 12:34 pm

That was an unsuccessful push to name the subway stop for Koch.

Al_C February 5, 2013 - 2:00 pm

Dinkins Circle Flushing

How fitting. Those three words together suggest what he did to the city.

Roger_the_Shrubber February 6, 2013 - 4:26 pm

You nailed it.

Pat February 5, 2013 - 3:06 pm

One has to ask …why? I have struggled to come up with something important this former mayor accomplished and quite frankly, I can’t think of anything. I understand the Arthur Ashe Stadium connection, but as mayor of the city, what did this man accomplish that warrants some kind of memorial?
Maybe his many accomplishments are just not well recorded and someone will right that injustice. Until then, please save the accolades for men (and women) who made meaningful contributions to society.

Kevin P. February 5, 2013 - 4:14 pm

“Successful push” is premature. The MTA shot down the 77th Street proposal.

“We do not rename subway stations after people,” said MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg.

Kevin Walsh February 5, 2013 - 8:02 pm

My source had it as done deal, but I’ll qualify it.

Dan February 6, 2013 - 10:58 am

I guess that explains John Jacob Astor on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line… oh, they said rename. Gotcha.

If the MTA wants to rename a station, they should change the name of the Sutphin Boulevard station on the Queens Boulevard Line to “Sutphin Boulevard–Hillside Avenue,” so they could further distinguish it from the one on the Archer Avenue Line.

As for Dinkins, since he’s still alive, I don’t see the point in naming anything after him right now.

Kevin Walsh February 6, 2013 - 11:03 pm

Astor Place is named for a street, as most other subway stops are.

Kevin P. February 7, 2013 - 5:35 pm

Of course, there are cases where the official names of subway stations include the names of historical figures because of landmarks, not streets. Off the top of my head:

John D. Rockefeller: 47-50th Streets – Rockefeller Center (refers to the building complex; the street is Rockefeller Plaza)

William Cullen Bryant: 42nd Street / Fifth Avenue – Bryant Park

Stephanus Van Cortlandt: Van Cortlandt Park – 242nd Street

Abraham Lincoln: 66th Street – Lincoln Center (maybe; the mystery was covered in a New York Times article)

Thomas Hunter: 68th Street – Hunter College

Herbert Lehman: Bedford Park Boulevard – Lehman College

William A. Shea: Willets Point – Shea Stadium (while he was still alive)

James Barclay: Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center

Even so, Andrew Carnegie never got his due at 57th Street – Seventh Avenue.

Tal Barzilai February 5, 2013 - 5:41 pm

This is the first time I have ever heard of this, because I don’t think this is even on any street maps of NYC.

Allan Rosen February 6, 2013 - 10:18 am

A plaque like this explaining about the person makes much more sense than a stupid street con-naming which is totally useless. Unless the person was a policeman or fireman who gave his life in the line of duty, or if you personally knew the person honored, street co-namings make no sense. They just confuse people since they look exactly like regular street signs and somtimes the regular street sign falls off and is not replaced or years raving only the co-named street name. People pass them everyday and just say to themselves “who was that person?”

I’ve long advocated that instead of street co-namings, community leaders and such be honored by naming green spaces after them with a plaque like they did for Dinkins instead of the standard nameless sign used by the Parks Department.

Kevin Walsh February 6, 2013 - 10:30 am


therealguyfaux February 7, 2013 - 6:35 pm

How many people think “Horace Harding Expressway” is named for a president who died in office in the 1920’s, and was succeeded by Calvin Coolidge?

Kevin Walsh February 8, 2013 - 9:44 am

I used to.

therealguyfaux February 8, 2013 - 5:07 pm

Warren Harding = President;

Horace Harding = banker, railroad director, and friend of Robert Moses, who campaigned for the building of the LIE (presumably to be able to invest more heavily in real estate in Nassau County once the road was in). Memorialized today by the local lanes alongside the LIE being named Horace Harding BL (and later, Expwy) in his honor (the road “HH BL” having existed as a street level avenue before it was widened for the construction of the freeway above/below ground, as required by the local geology).

Which still brings up the interesting question– is ANYTHING named for Warren Harding, or is he the Rodney Dangerfield of American Presidents?

ron s February 9, 2013 - 12:43 pm

In Jean Shepherd’s monologues and radio show, the kids used to go to the Warren G Harding (fictional) school. Not sure if he used it in “Christmas Story”

Alex February 12, 2013 - 11:49 pm

Harding’s Wikipedia page lists a baker’s dozen of schools named for him, plus a county in New Mexico, a township in New Jersey, and a couple other things. In my neighborhood, too, there’s a Harding Court apartment building, probably named for him (it was built in the early 1920s).


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