NYC Honorary Street Names


Henry J. Browne Boulevard (Manhattan)
Present name:West 90th St.
Location:Northwest corner West 90th St. and Columbus Ave.
Honoree: Father Henry J. Browne (1919-1980) was a crusader for peace, civil rights, affordable housing, and tenants’ rights on the Upper West Side from the 1950s to the 70s. Between 1958 and 1970, Browne was resident, associate pastor, and finally pastor of the Church of St. Gregory the Great on West 90th Street. In 1959, he helped found the Strycker’s Bay Neighborhood Council and was at the center of organizing long-time residents to insist on their relocation rights in the face of a 20-square-block urban renewal plan. In 1962, Browne and the coalition he led secured a dramatic expansion of promised low-income housing units. Under Browne’s leadership St. Gregory’s grew as a center of local activism on behalf of working people and against the Vietnam War. He organized bus trips to anti-war protests in Washington, D.C., and gave sanctuary in the church’s rectory to the Rev. Philip F. Berrigan, who was wanted for destroying draft files in Maryland. In April 1970, FBI agents raided the rectory, breaking a locked door and arresting Berrigan. Browne left St. Gregory's in 1970, pursued a mainly secular career as a teacher in New Jersey, and raised three children with his common-law wife. (Michels)

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