Mayor Fenty Renames Street Along Verizon Center


Mayor Adrian M. Fenty proclaimed December 3, 2007 "Abe Pollin Day" in the District of Columbia in honor of Abe Pollin's 84th birthday and all of his contributions to the city. Pollin is the chairman of Washington Sports & Entertainment which owns Verizon Center and the Washington Wizards. Fenty was joined by Members of the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office Majority Leader Steny Hoyer in recognizing Pollin. In addition to proclaiming Abe Pollin Day, the Mayor unveiled F Street between 6th and 7th Streets NW, as Abe Pollin Way. The name will officially change after the DC Council passes legislation.

"Abe Pollin's contributions to the District of Columbia go far beyond his building of the Verizon Center and bringing the Wizards to the city," said Fenty. "He has served as an investor in the city's future and a catalyst for revitalization and development, leading the way for others to invest in our downtown neighborhood."

"It is difficult to think of two individuals who have been more dedicated to improving the nation's capital and helping its citizens than Abe and Irene Pollin," stated Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer. "Perhaps Abe's most lasting legacy will be his efforts to build what is now the Verizon Center and the accompanying neighborhood revitalization. It is only appropriate, on this, Abe's birthday, that the city has announced its intention to name F Street in front of Verizon Center as Abe Pollin Way. I applaud the Mayor and the City Council for taking this well deserved action."

"I am extremely honored and I appreciate very much the recognition Mayor Fenty has given me today," said Pollin. "I am thankful for the opportunity to do what I was able to do for the city that I love, the Nation's Capital, the most beautiful city in the world."

Abe Pollin Day Proclamation Text:

Whereas, Abe Pollin is the senior owner in the National Basketball Association, with more than 40 years as owner of the Washington Wizards, and he is the original owner of the National Hockey League's Washington Capitals and Women's National Basketball Association's Washington Mystics; and

Whereas, Abe Pollin brought the Washington Wizards – originally the Baltimore Bullets – to the Washington area in 1973 after building the Capital Centre, and also secured an expansion franchise for the Washington Capitals; and

Whereas, in 1997 Abe Pollin reaffirmed his dedication to the District of Columbia by turning down offers from suburban jurisdictions, to finance and build the Verizon Center (originally the MCI Center) on 7th Street NW in the heart of Chinatown, initiating the revitalization of the Chinatown/Gallery Place neighborhood; and

Whereas, Abe Pollin was born 84 years ago today in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and has lived in the Washington area since the age of eight, graduating from George Washington University in 1945; and

Whereas, Abe Pollin, with his wife Irene, created the Pollin Prize for Pediatric Research, administered by New York Presbyterian Hospital; and the couple has been very active with a number of local and national charitable organizations including the I Have a Dream Foundation (personally guaranteeing college education for 55 students), N Street Village, UNICEF, the Salvation Army, and the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue among many others:

NOW THEREFORE I, THE MAYOR OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, do hereby proclaim DECEMBER 3, 2007 as "ABE POLLIN DAY" in the District of Columbia, and I call upon all the residents of this great city to join me in celebrating Mr. Pollin's many accomplishments and thank him for all he has done for the Washington, D.C. community.

(Source: Wizards Wire)