What do Jimmy Cagney, the actor Alfred M. Butts, the man who invented Scrabble, and feminist champion Bella Abzug all have in common? They, along with over 100 other hometown greats, are all Notable New Yorkers. Since 1995, the Historic Landmarks Preservation Center has been installing cultural medallions throughout the five boroughs to celebrate New Yorkers whose contributions to our collective cultural life have enriched the city, the nation, and the world. HLPC has launched a book, Notable New Yorkers: The HLPC Cultural Medallion Program, that collects all those plaques in one place.
This volume includes photos and descriptions of all 116 Notable New Yorkers that the HLPC has honored over the past 23 years, including such luminaries as George and Ira Gershwin (the program’s very first honorees), Richard Wright, Washington Irving, and Ada Louise Huxtable. The book also situates the history of the Cultural Medallion program within the context of New York’s wider historic preservation movement.