A bill sponsored by Senator Jack M. Martins to rename the Roslyn Viaduct in honor of William Cullen Bryant has passed the Senate. The inspiration for the bill (S.6240) comes from the community's strong commitment to preserve its history.
Mr. Bryant, a prominent poet and civic leader in the 19th Century, is one of Roslyn’s most famous residents, having served as editor of the New York Evening Post for half a century. Mr. Bryant purchased a country house in Roslyn in 1843, which remained in his family until the 1970s.
"Naming the Roslyn Viaduct after William Cullen Bryant is a great trubute to a man who has contributed so much to what is now the historic Roslyn Village. Our library rightfully bears his name for he was so much a part of its beginnings,” said John Durkin, Mayor of the Village of Roslyn. “Now, all who travel from the east and west through our Village will be reminded of the many contributions of Mr. Bryant, an outstanding poet, writer, anthologist and translator."
Mr. Bryant’s legacy in is widely known in Roslyn as the village library bears his name. Senator Martins believes strongly that a community should keep strong ties to its history. The half-mile stretch has recently been rebuilt so that it’s now a modern structure. However, the viaduct is still a part of the Roslyn’s history, dating back to 1949, when it was built.
“The Village of Roslyn, the Bryant Library and the Roslyn Landmark Society do an exceptional job of preserving the history of this beautiful village. It’s appropriate that the viaduct have a name that is synonymous with the community,” said Senator Martins. “Since the village is rich in history and tradition, renaming the viaduct in honor of William Cullen Bryant is a way to celebrate that history,” said Senator Martins.
“It’s so apropos to name the library in honor of a man who has done so much for Roslyn. I want to thank Senator Martins for introducing the bill,” said Cathleen Meeling, director of the Bryan Library.
“It’s really an admirable thing to do,” said Roslyn Landmark Society Executive Director Franklin Hill Perrell of renaming the viaduct. “We hope the naming of this bridge will lead to the rediscovery of this writer. During the 19th Century, William Cullen Bryant rivaled Mark Twain as the most famous author in America.”