Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: May 30, 1997

Release #310-97

Contact: Colleen Roche or Dwight Williams (212) 788-2958


Remarks by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani at Public Hearing on Local Laws

The next bill before me, Introductory Number 932, sponsored by Council Members Duane and Wooten, would add, through the posting of an additional sign, the name "Joe Horvath Street" on West 52nd Street between 10th Avenue and 11th Avenue, Manhattan.

Joseph Horvath was born in Manhattan in May 1945 to Florence and Charles Horvath, and was one of five children. He was raised on the West Side and attended Sacred Heart Parochial School, Fashion Institute of Technology High School and Manhattan Community College. During his youth, he was a member of the Police Athletic League's (PAL) Duncan Center and in 1961 was hired as a program aide and eventually became Director of the Duncan Center.

During his years of service with the PAL, Joseph Horvath was a positive influence on the youth of the City and the neighborhood known as Hell's Kitchen. When the original Duncan Center was to be demolished in 1970, to make way for new construction, he located a vacant building nearby on West 52nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues where the Center is today. Since the PAL did not have funds to renovate the building, he was able to obtain volunteers from a number of trade unions, as well as neighborhood parents and teenagers, to paint and work together to make the new center ready for use. The Center has remained and flourished at this location ever since.

Over the years, Mr. Horvath ran a very diversified athletic program. As Mr. Horvath became more active in the central office of PAL, he organized trips to the Grand Canyon and started exchange programs for the youth of New York City and Tokyo.

After 35 years of enthusiastic and devoted service with the Police Athletic League, Joseph Horvath died on November 1, 1995. He is survived by his wife Jean and daughter Kathy Jean.

In view of the many years of service that Joseph Horvath gave to the youth of the City, it is fitting that West 52nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues, the block where the Police Athletic League's Duncan Center is located, be named "Joe Horvath Street."

I will first turn to the bill's sponsors and then to any other elected official wishing to be heard.

There being no one else to be heard, and for the reasons stated previously, I will now sign this bill.

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