NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio presided over a ceremony Thursday to rename Manhattan’s Municipal Building for former Mayor David Dinkins.
The landmark 40-story building at 1 Centre St., just a block from City Hall, is now officially called The David N. Dinkins Municipal Building.READ MORE: New York State Legislature Votes To Curb Gov. Cuomo's Emergency Powers
In a statement, de Blasio said Dinkins “left an indelible impact on this city.”
“Those of us who were lucky to serve in the Dinkins administration had the honor of serving a leader who took challenges head on,” de Blasio said. “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.”
On Thursday, de Blasio said the city is honoring a truly good man.
“This is a mayor who often felt the slings and arrows, many, many of them quite unfair, I might add. But it never changed him,” de Blasio said, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
Dinkins said he was grateful to have the building named after him.
“I’m honored to stand with you today as stewards of progressive and effective government in a building that has stood strong and tall for the people’s business for more than a century,” Dinkins said at the ceremony.READ MORE: Brooklyn Mom Wants NYC Apartments Inspected Annually After Parts Of Ceiling Crash Down On 12-Year-Old Son
Dinkins asked that when younger people explain who he is “hopefully you will say that I and we believe in municipal government of the people, by the people and for the people, a government that lifts all of us up and does not beat any of us down.”
Elected in 1989, Dinkins served one four-year term and was the city’s first and only black mayor. Dinkins, 88, worked at the Municipal Building for many years as city clerk and as Manhattan borough president.
“I was the city clerk for 10 years from ’75 to ’85, and city clerk runs the Marriage License Bureau. One of my favorite things to do is perform marriage ceremonies,” Dinkins said earlier this month, adding he was “delighted” when he heard the news.
Dinkins has always said that he’d be grateful if someone named a lamppost after him, but there is already something named for the former mayor, WCBS 880’s Jane Tillman Irving reported.
The east gate entrance of the National Tennis Center in Queens is called The David Dinkins Circle.
“Now, three and half people know about it, but I’m very proud of that,” the former mayor joked.
The National Tennis Center in its present form was established during Dinkins’ term from 1989 to 1993.MORE NEWS: Immersive Public Art Installation Now On Display At Domino Park
During the Dinkins’ administration, de Blasio was a low-level staff member working for Dinkins’ top political aide and de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray was a speechwriter.