The Empire State Building may have snubbed her, but the Hutchinson Metro Center will not. The two buildings in the sprawling office complex will be lit blue and white in honor of the 100th birthday of Mother Teresa, a holy figure who ironically always avoided the spotlight on her good works.
The buildings at 1200-50 Waters Place will glow blue and white in honor of Mother Teresa’s order and in celebration of her 100th birthday on Tuesday, August 26.
This comes on the heels of a rejection by the owner of the Empire State Building, the city’s tallest building, to allow the skyscraper to glow for the occasion. Mother Teresa was a Catholic nun who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and is famous for her international humanitarian work.
The lighting of the Hutchinson Metro Center has special significance in the borough, which has a large Albanian population. Mother Teresa was born to Albanian parents before founding her mission in India, known as the Missionaries of Charity. Councilman Jimmy Vacca said that he tried to get the Empire State Building lit in her honor, and then assisted in providing for a fitting tribute at the Hutchinson Metro Center.
“I teamed up with the Hutch Metro Center after the Empire State Building refused to honor her,” Vacca said. “This will provide a focal point in our borough to mark her birthday and urge others to continue her work. The people at the Empire State Building had some nerve to reject our request when they lit the building up to honor the anniversary of Communism in China, and to honor Mariah Carey. Mother Teresa epitomizes sacrifice and selfless work in all religions.” Vacca believes the lighting will be a symbolic gesture.
Joe Kelleher, president of Hutch Management, said that Vacca mentioned the dilemma during a conversation the two were having about the city’s backup 911Call Center, which is being build on a parcel of land next to the office park. The Hutch Metro Center recently lighted the buildings to draw awareness to the prevention of domestic violence, and one of the building’s tenants, Mercy College, has a march around the office park every October during Domestic Violence Awareness month.
“It just symbolizes what we are all about here,” Kelleher said. “We have Visiting Nurse Services, Mercy College, Beth Abraham nursing services, and children’s services.Everyone here is doing something for the betterment of the north Bronx. It ties in because she stood for helping others, caring for the poor and people who need assistance, and so do our tenants in a different way. What a great way to express something people need to hear. Why not give to and support your community? If we all did that, the world would be a better place.”