Street Co-Named For Religious Leader Despite Community Board Objection

By Janet Upadhye on February 7, 2014 5:47pm 

 A street corner in Fort Greene was named after Monsignor Walter C. Murphy despite Community Board 2's requirement that street naming candidates be deceased three years.
A street corner in Fort Greene was named after Monsignor Walter C. Murphy despite Community Board 2's requirement that street naming candidates be deceased three years.
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The Tablet

FORT GREENE — A corner in Fort Greene was recently co-named for a local religious leader — a controversial move because the decision did not have the backing of Community Board 2 members.

Local church leaders and former City Councilmember Diana Reyna presented their proposal to co-name the corner of Adelphi Street and Park Avenue for Msgr. Walter C. Murphy to Community Board 2 after his death on April 23, 2012 because of his record of working with the homeless and advocating for affordable housing.

But they were denied because the board requires street co-naming candidates be deceased for three years.

Despite the board's refusal to support the co-naming, signage was erected with the senior church leader's name in late January, according to The Tablet.

"This is unacceptable," said Community Board 2 District Manager Robert Perris.

Murphy was a Brooklyn native who worked at Sacred Heart Church for more than 20 years. He was not only known as an inspirational religious leader, but also for working with the homeless and advocating for affordable housing, a spokesman for Reyna said.

Regardless of Murphy's standing in the community, the three-year waiting period is designed to "provide all parties with the perspective provided only by time."

"It has been the community board’s experience that co-naming requests are some times received soon after an individual has died, when emotions are understandably intense," CB2's website states.

Street co-namings are approved by legislations in the city council but a recommendation by the community board is required, according to Perris.

Reyna, who is now deputy borough president, and her successor Councilmember Antonio Reynoso did not respond to a request for comment.

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