October 2, 2015
The David N. Dinkins Municipal Building Will Honor Former Mayor’s Decades of Public Service
Naming Ceremony to be Held October 15th
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray announced today that the Manhattan Municipal Building at 1 Centre Street will be renamed for former Mayor David N. Dinkins in honor of his decades of public service. The David N. Dinkins Municipal Building will be formally renamed at a ceremony on October 15th.
“Those of us who were lucky to serve in the Dinkins Administration had the honor of serving a leader who took challenges head on,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “He’s left an indelible impact on this city – and on Chirlane’s and my lives. We are so grateful for Mayor Dinkins’ decades of public service and everything he’s done to ensure a stronger, safer city. I can’t think of a more fitting tribute than to rename the Municipal Building, where he spent 14 years of his career, in his honor.”
“Words cannot express the depth of gratitude Bill and I have for Mayor David N. Dinkins. His legacy is a bright guiding light for me, my family, and countless New Yorkers,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “Mayor Dinkins helped me understand that service to others is the rent we pay for time on earth. Throughout his career, he led with dignity, generosity and commitment. And by choosing a life of service, Mayor Dinkins helped grow another mayor, a first lady, and two smart, beautiful children.”
Of all the government buildings in New York City, the Municipal Building has the strongest connection to former Mayor Dinkins. He spent 14 years of his career there: ten years as the City Clerk (from 1975 to 1985) and four more years as the Manhattan Borough President (from 1986 to 1990). When he was elected the City’s first African American Mayor, he moved across the street to City Hall.
Mayor Dinkins began his public service career in 1966 as a member of the New York State Assembly. He was president of the New York City Board of Elections, and served as City Clerk for 10 years before his elections as President of the Borough of Manhattan in 1985 and 106th Mayor of the City of New York in 1989.
As Mayor, Mr. Dinkins was responsible for the establishment of numerous widely heralded cultural staples such as Fashion Week, Restaurant Week, and Broadway on Broadway. His administration ensured the revitalization of Times Square and secured an unprecedented deal to keep the U.S. Open Tennis Championships in New York for the next 99 years. One of Mayor Dinkins most notable accomplishments was the implementation of “Safe Streets, Safe City: Cops and Kids,” a comprehensive criminal justice plan for reducing crime and expanding opportunities for the children of New York.
Mayor Dinkins is currently a Professor in the Practice of Public Affairs at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs; he also serves on the school’s Advisory Board and hosts its annual Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum.
The Municipal Building is a significant piece of New York City architecture. When it was completed in 1914, it was the largest office building in the world, and the first building to be constructed with a subway station inside. Renowned architecture critic Paul Goldberger described the building as an object lesson in “sensitive urbanism” – a fitting description that also applies to Mayor Dinkins’ governance.