Celebrating American Athletes of Parades Past, Ticker Tape Tradition Commemorated at Historic Woolworth Building
Celebrating American Athletes of Parades Past, Ticker Tape Tradition Commemorated at Historic Woolworth Building-8/24/2012Download PDF
Exciting things are happening along the Canyon of Heroes this summer! Historic images of some notable American athletes who have been feted down New York City’s historic parade route are now on display outside of Lower Manhattan’s Woolworth Building. Additionally, the New York Giants have made their second mark on Broadway, with a black granite strip embedded in the sidewalk outside the Woolworth building honoring their 2012 Super Bowl victory.
Commemorating each previous ticker-tape parade in chronological order, the Downtown Alliance has embedded 181 black granite plaques in the sidewalk on both sides of Broadway throughout the mile-long Canyon of Heroes to create the “Walk of Fame” (over 20 are in storage until the Fulton Center is completed).
“For more than a century, our city has honored some of history’s most notable athletes, heads of state, and scientists and many more , with ticker-tape parades down Lower Manhattan’s venerated Canyon of Heroes,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance. “The Woolworth Building – one of the most celebrated and recognizable buildings in New York City – is the perfect canvas to draw attention to the history of Lower Manhattan and to animate the use of this vacant retail space.”
Collaborating with The Witkoff Group, property owners of the renowned Woolworth Building, the Downtown Alliance has unveiled several large-scale images from ticker tape parades of years past. This project is a test pilot for a possible new initiative to utilize vacant retail spaces as an opportunity to highlight the historic events that have occurred in Lower Manhattan while helping to market and maximize these vacant spaces. The images, many of which are sourced from New York City Municipal Archives and feature famous American athletes, are located in the ground floor windows of the famed Lower Manhattan property and along scaffolding that temporarily flanks the building. For photos of the project, visit: http://dwn.twn.tc/14. Some of the historic images from the municipal archives include:
- Carol Heiss, Women’s Olympic Figure-Skating Champion (March 9, 1960)
- New York Mets, New National League Baseball Team (April 12, 1962)
- U.S. Olympic Team Send-Off to the Helsinki Games (July 7, 1952)
“The owners of The Woolworth Building, as members of the Downtown Alliance, thank the Alliance for its creative ideas in helping promote the vitality of Lower Manhattan,” said Roy Suskin, Vice President of Development at The Witkoff Group. “The Canyon of Heroes and the tradition of honoring great accomplishments are commemorated by the new displays and banners, and we look forward to participating in future parades at the heart of New York City, and in welcoming new visitors and businesses to Lower Manhattan.”
The ticker tape tradition – a quintessential New York celebration – began in 1886 to mark the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty. Ticker tape parades have since honored the likes of Winston Churchill in 1946, Nelson Mandela in 1990 and the New York Yankees countless times. For more information on the Canyon of Heroes and access to free podcast on the history of the celebrated parade route, please visit: http://www.downtownny.com/what-we-do/street-scape/canyon-of-heroes.
The Downtown Alliance in 2003 launched its program to commemorate the parades with a series of granite strips set in chronological order every 20 feet along the traditional parade route from Battery Park to City Hall, with room for many more. The strips identify each parade and cite the achievements of the honorees, a group that also includes pioneers of air and space travel, soldiers, sailors, generals, sea captains, heads of state and royalty, journalists, firefighters and a prize-winning concert pianist.
As pedestrians glance down to read the names of honorees etched into the sidewalk strips, a popular history of the United States and a timeline of Lower Manhattan begins to emerge.
The Broadway Canyon of Heroes walk is part of the Downtown Alliance’s Streetscape Program, which redesigned the look of Downtown’s streets in accordance with a plan cited by the city's Art Commission for uniqueness and elegance.