On Wednesday, August 12, Councilman Jimmy Vacca joined Congressman Joseph Crowley, Senator Jeff Klein, and Gold’s widow Helen in celebrating the renaming of Tenbroeck Avenue between Mace and Allerton avenues in honor of the deceased senior activist.
At the corner of Mace and Tenbroeck, the group that included the 49th Precinct community affairs and Community Board 11 district manager John Fratta, unveiled the sign naming the street Martin Gold Place.
Gold was remembered for his letter writing campaigns advocating for veterans and senior citizens, and a battle he waged against graffiti by painting over vandalized mailboxes in his neighborhood.
“Martin Gold was one of a kind,” Vacca said. “He was someone who fought nonstop for a better community, who advocated for causes he believed in, who rolled up his sleeves for his friends and his neighbors. He is truly deserving of this honor.”
Gold was painting over graffiti into his 90s on his own, paying for paint and supplies out of his own pocket before obtaining help from elected officials like then-Assemblyman and now Senator Jeff Klein.
“My first contact with Martin Gold was as a congressional aide answering letters he would write on important issues,” Jeff Klein said at the dedication. “He cared deeply about the quality of life in the community. He wanted to preserve the quality of life in the north Bronx and continue to make it a desirable place to live.”
Congressman Joseph Crowley said that his interactions with Gold were confrontational in a positive way because Gold would always speak up on important issues he cared deeply about.
“I met Martin about a decade ago and knew to expect someone who was passionate about the community, his [senior] center, and all things Bronx,” Crowley said at the ceremony. This community certainly benefited from him, and lives up to the example Martin Gold set.”
Gold’s widow Helen said that they were together all of the time.
“I would keep a record of all the mailboxes and areas that had graffiti on it and then he would work on them,” she said.
Allerton Avenue Homeowners and Tenants Association president Sal Castorina said that he plans on getting together volunteers to continue Gold’s mission of painting over graffiti covered mailboxes.
Aging in America held a reception after the unveiling of the street sign.