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Bill Cunningham Honored with Temporary Street Co-Naming in Midtown

 The corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue will be Bill Cunningham Corner for the next week.
Bill Cunningham street naming
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MIDTOWN — A Midtown street corner now bears the name of the legendary fashion photographer who made the corner his open-air studio, at least for now.

For the next week the corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue will be renamed “Bill Cunningham Corner” after the New York Times photographer who regularly shot street-style photographs on the corner and its surroundings.

First Lady of New York Chirlane McCray joined New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet and other friends and colleagues of the late photographer to honor his impact on the city.

“For more than 40 years Bill reminded us how lucky we are to live in the most fantastic, the most fashionable city on Earth,” she said. “We are so grateful.”

According to Baquet, the street naming is the right thing to do, even if it might have mortified Cunningham.

“Because Bill was the consummate journalist who put his work first, he probably would be completely flummoxed and probably a little bit humiliated by this tribute,” Baquet said. “But because Bill loved fashion, loved New York, and loved this stretch of New York, he would mostly be truly humbled.”

The renaming came a week after more than 6,000 people signed a Change.org petition calling for the corner to be named in Cunningham’s honor. The petition was started by Nick Nicholson, a longtime friend of Cunningham who called his late friend a true New York landmark.

“He was like the Chrysler Building,” Nicholson told DNAinfo last week. "Everywhere you looked, there he was. He had a unique eye and saw trends and facets of the city that other people didn't." 

The corner will remain named after Cunningham for the next week, as the Mayor has the power to temporarily rename a street, but in order for it to be a permanent renaming, it must go through the City Council.

A City Hall press release said the Mayor would work with City Council to ensure the renaming of the corner will be made permanent.