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Beloved Religious Leader Who Died Won't Get Block Named For Him This Year

By Janet Upadhye | March 18, 2013 7:26pm

FORT GREENE — How long does someone have to be dead in order to get a street named after them?

Three years, according to Community Board 2.

That means an effort to name a block of Adelphi Street after Monsignor Walter Murphy, who passed away in April of last year, will have to wait.

Church leaders and City Councilwoman Diana Reyna would like to see Murphy honored by naming the block after the well-liked religious leader outside where he worked at Sacred Heart Church.

But the proposed co-naming falls on a block in Fort Greene under the jurisdiction of CB2.

And the board is sticking to its protocol.

"The three-year waiting period was reviewed and reaffirmed last year," District Manager Robert Perris said when asked if Murphy's supporters would just have to wait.

"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.

CB2's co-naming standards are higher than other boards' such as Manhattan's Community Board 12 which requires the honoree be dead two years or Brooklyn's Community Board 6 which simply requires the individual be dead.

Other community boards, such as Manhattan's Community Board 1, have no posthumous requirements but do require prospective honorees have a minimum of 15 years community involvement.

If that were the case in CB2, Murphy would have a block named after him today.

The Brooklyn native worked at Sacred Heart for more than 20 years and was not only known as an inspirational religious leader, but also for working with the homeless and advocating for affordable housing, said Malcolm Sanborn-Hum, spokesman for Reyna.

Murphy was also a founding member of CB2.

"We are all very sad to see him passed," Sanborn-Hum said. "We just want to make sure he is remembered and honor his achievements."

But rules are rules. In April 2015, Murphy will be eligible.

"We will revisit this then," said Sanborn-hum.