Baltimore should honor the D’Alesandro legacy | READER COMMENTARY
For The Baltimore Sun|
Sep 24, 2020 at 7:48 AM
To honor Italian-Americans — in particular, Baltimore’s descendant community and their heritage — the city should consider rededicating the President Street site where the Christopher Columbus statue stood to honor two mayors: Thomas J. D’Alesandro, Jr. and Thomas J. D’Alesandro III, known locally as “Big Tommy” and “Young Tommy.”
The former, a delegate, city councilman, congressman and mayor, was a titan of Little Italy and a driving force in the mid-century development of Baltimore who wielded political influence at the state and national levels. Sculptures of “Big Tommy” currently located near Charles Center, itself under perennial redevelopment consideration, could be relocated to President Street, arguably a more appropriate site.
In this time of reckoning, we’re rightfully reviewing what and whom we choose to honor in our public spaces. When we can do so without further pitting community members against one another, so much the better.