There are now 12 new signs lining the grounds of the New Rochelle Library Green that feature the city's 14 new Walk of Fame members.
The list includes:
J. Fred Coots
Edwin & Gertude Thanhouser
The Mayor of New Rochelle, Noam Bramson, started off the ceremony by explaining the importance of the Walk of Fame and how its members have benefitted the community.
“It’s our human fabric that defines who we are as a community much more fully,” he said. “It’s the individuals who have lent their talents, and their skills and their expertise to all that we have managed to build together.”
Roderick Kennedy, who is the creator of the walk, has not received his own plaque but Mayor Bramson honored him that afternoon by declaring April 26th to be known as Rod Kennedy day in the city of New Rochelle.
“We are by no means finished,” Kennedy said. “Incredibly, New Rochelle has been a vortex of creativity and talent over the years. The list of exceptional people that were born or who have lived here is a long one. The purpose of the New Rochelle Walk of Fame is to promote civic pride and to motivate the youth in the community by showing that that people just like themselves have lived or grown up here and have gone on to extraordinary accomplishments."
The ceremony continued with historian Barbara Davis listing the many achievements and endeavors of the notable inductees. Artistic talent was a common theme among the new members. Composers of popular Christmas songs, J. Fred Coots and Robert Allen, ‘American Pie’ singer Don McLean, Disney score writer Alan Menken, and actor Richard Roundtree were only some of the better known names inducted into the walk.
Many of the inductees were were unable to appear at the ceremony, but two-time Tony-winning actress Frances Sternhagen was present and was honored with a commemorative sign that listed many of her screen credits. Sternhagen is a very established actress who settled down in New Rochelle where she raised her six children.
“She lives in Sutton Manor where her neighbors are her friends, and it’s one big family,” Davis explains.
The ceremony ended with a tribute to two influential members, Edwin and Gertude Thanhouser. In 1909 they founded the Thanhouser film studio that produced over 1,000 films between 1910 and 1917. Their artistic contributions to the New Rochelle community are duly noted on their sign at the Library Green. To close the ceremony Davis announced that they would be showing some Thanhouser films during the reception.