Midtown Sites Naming


Images of Andrew Langston and friends



Andrew Langston Way Dedication Ceremony

Mayor Lovely Warren, City Council President Loretta Scott and N.Y. State Senator Joe Robach were joined today by Gloria Langston and other Langston family members to dedicate a new street within the Midtown Rising Downtown redevelopment project as “Andrew Langston Way.” The new street begins at East Main Street opposite the Liberty Pole and runs south the Elm Street.

Andrew Langston founded WDKX-FM 103.9 radio in 1974, and passed away in 2010. The station went on the air as one of the first black-owned radio stations in New York and today is one of the only locally owned radio stations in Rochester. At the time, WDKX provided a source for local African American businesses to advertise that hadn’t existed before.

“Andrew Langston and the Midtown Plaza were both very dear and important institutions to many Rochesterians and it is an honor to be here today paying homage to both,” said Mayor Warren. “Midtown Plaza was a pioneer among indoor malls in America and Andrew Langston was a pioneer for black-owned radio stations. It is fitting to honor his legacy with this lasting tribute to his many contributions to this community, which, due to the generosity of the Langston Family, continue today.”

“I am so pleased that we are able to honor Mr. Langston in this way,” said Council President Scott. “It is a much deserved recognition of his dedication to the support and development of our community and his efforts will now be remembered for generations to come.”

“My father’s dream was to create a radio station that would benefit the community – a place where people could get information, share information and have a voice,” said Andre Marcel. “Receiving this honor from the City of Rochester shows that his dream came true and is appreciated. On behalf of the entire Langston Family, we are forever grateful and will continue to be that voice for the Rochester community.”

The dedication ceremony featured the unveiling of a street sign bearing Mr. Langston’s name. A total of three signs bearing his name will be erected. The Langston family took the first official ride down the street. The street name was selected from among suggestions submitted by the public to the City in March. The City Planning Commission and City Council approved the name in May.

“Andrew Langston’s contributions to the Rochester community were monumental,” said Assemblyman Gantt. “His radio station provided the people a voice and an outlet that previously didn’t exist. “I think it is both fitting and proper to rename this street after him.”

“It is fitting that this road is being named in remembrance of Andrew Langston, a visionary and entrepreneurial role model that never gave up and created a great radio station that not only plays great music, but also stays connected to its listeners and the Rochester community,” said Senator Robach.
The City Planning Commission and City Council also approved the name ‘Midtown Commons’ for the open space area at the Midtown project. Its dedication ceremony will take place at a later date.

The Midtown Rising redevelopment involved a series of partnerships designed to position Rochester for the future by re-shaping a significant 9-acre portion of Downtown through major public and private investment, job creation and infrastructure development. More information can be found at www.cityofrochester.gov/midtown.

 City chooses Andrew Langston Way, Midtown Commons

Mayor Lovely A. Warren announced on April 21 that the City has chosen names for the new street and plaza created as part of the Midtown Rising redevelopment.

The names chosen are ‘Midtown Commons’ for the new open space; and ‘Andrew Langston Way’ for the new street from among 328 suggestions submitted to the City between March 17 and March 31.

The names were be submitted for City Planning Commission consideration at its May 12 meeting. Upon Planning Commission recommendation, the names were approved by City Council at its May 20 meeting.

“I can think of no better way to pay homage to Mr. Langston, who died in 2010 and was the founder and CEO of WDKX-FM 103.9,” the Mayor continued. “In April of 1974, WDKX went on the air as one of the first black-owned radio stations in New York and today is one of the only locally owned radio stations in Rochester. Just as Midtown Plaza was the first of its kind for indoor malls, Andrew Langston was a true Rochester pioneer for African-Americans in the field of broadcasting.”

The new streets at the Midtown site are expected to be completed and open by the end of May. A dedication ceremony to open Andrew Langston Way is scheduled for Sept. 24. A dedication ceremony for the new open space is being planned. 

Name a part of history

The Midtown Rising implementation received more than 200 suggestions from the public to name the new street and plaza created by the redevelopment of the Midtown site. The new plaza space will be called Midtown Commons and the new street will be called Andrew Langston Way.

  • The plaza (Area A on the map below) is a .58 acre parcel that lies between S. Clinton Ave. (next to the Windstream building) and the new street. The new plaza is designed to be used for events and everyday enjoyment by Downtown residents, workers and visitors. It includes seating areas, a paved plaza, a lawn area and a grove of trees.
  • The new street (Area B on the map below) will begin at East Main Street opposite the Liberty Pole and run south to Elm Street.