Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: June 3, 1997

Release #323-97

Contact: Colleen Roche or Dwight Williams (212) 788-2958


Remarks by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani at Public Hearing on Local Laws

The next bill before me, Introductory Number 944, sponsored by Council Members Lasher, O'Donovan and Abel, would add, through the posting of an additional sign, the name "Milton Berger Place" to Surf Avenue between West 8th Street and West 10th Street, Brooklyn.

Mr. Berger was a product of the Damon Runyon era of Broadway and became a successful show-business press agent. Eventually, Milton Berger became an "unofficial" press agent for Coney Island and for more than fifty years used his public relations talents to draw crowds to the Brooklyn beachfront area. Although he was commonly known for his outlandish and flamboyant style, he had a high regard for opera, art and classical literature. Over the years, he worked for the old Steeplechase Park for the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce and for Astroland, the last of the area's bigtime amusement parks.

His efforts to keep the Coney Island area economically viable led to a variety of promotions and events, including producing fireworks displays, promoting marathon roller-coaster rides, offering parties for handicapped youngsters and helping to secure the landmark designation of the Cyclone Roller Coaster.

Milton Berger died on February 3, 1997 at the age of 81. He will be missed by his cousins, friends and colleagues. As a tribute to the tireless efforts and contributions of Milton Berger, the man oftentimes known as "Mr. Coney Island," this legislation would add the name "Milton Berger Place" to Surf Avenue between West 8th Street and West 10th Street in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn.

I will first turn to the bill's sponsors and then to any other elected official wishing to be heard.

There being no one else to be heard, and for the reasons stated previously, I will now sign this bill.

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