Dedicated NYC

A photo blog documenting the myriad dedication plaques and engravings in and around New York City. Visit the blog and explore more images here.

I love history. Ever since I was a kid I could get lost in the stories told, lessons learned, the whys and wherefores of human action (or inaction). These stories of a world gone by permeate the time that we live in; the outcomes of battles won and lost, the places where people lived, worked, triumphed, failed, and loved. Sometimes these goings and doings are recorded temporaneously, and a few even make it into books, while others simply fade when the people do. But every once and a while, somebody deems something important enough to make a physical reminder of these events.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of dedication plaques and engravings in the greater New York area. Some are institutional—like those mounted by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission—while others are small signatures of achievement, remembrance, or celebration; some are cast in copper or bronze, while others are chiseled into marble by a master craftsman, or more recently—and unfortunately for us all and the visual fabric of the city—sandblasted into stone.

Whatever form they take, they are artifacts and reminders of our collective history: of the skyscrapers that we’ve built, the public spaces that we had the foresight to establish, or the ideals to which we once thought—and hopefully still do think—we could hold ourselves. Artifacts and reminders from which we can hopefully use to learn from lessons past.