The Cultural Landscape Foundation has announced that The Hall of Fame for Great Americans on the campus of Bronx Community College (BCC) will be added to its “Landslide 2018: Grounds for Democracy” initiative. The goal of this year’s annual Landslide is to bring public attention and action to endangered sites that are key to understanding and remembering the struggles for civil and human rights in the United States. It dovetails with BCC’s own campaign to restore the colonnade.
The Hall of Fame is one of a group of structures on the BCC campus designed by the legendary architect Stanford White and constructed at the turn of the last century when the campus was then the grounds of New York University. The 96 busts of notable national figures placed between its columns are a highlight of this oldest hall of fame in the country. In 2012, White’s Beaux Arts creations were designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
In naming the Hall of Fame to its list of at-risk sites, the preservation-minded Washington, D.C.-based Cultural Landscape Foundation observed “the Hall of Fame for Great Americans is at once the birthplace of fame as an American democratic ideal and the backdrop for mid-century activism by persons of color. As current debate intensifies regarding who and what should be the subject of public commemoration, the Hall of Fame stands as a monument to another ideal: that there is one common, American concept of greatness. But the Hall is in dire need of repairs if it is to survive to reflect a more inclusive image of that ideal.”