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‘Bill Cunningham Corner’ Became a Reality Today

Fashion photographer Bill Cunnigham talking to a woman in a black dress on the sidewalk. Photo: Driely S. for Racked

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Less than two weeks after the death of Bill Cunningham, New York City is giving the legendary New York Times photographer who pioneered street style a big honor thanks in large part to a Change.org petition. At 12:45pm today, the city will temporarily rename the intersection at Fifth Avenue and 57th Street “Bill Cunningham Corner,” recognizing his favorite spot to capture stylish New Yorkers on their way to work or browsing high-end stores.

A small ceremony attended by First Lady Chirlane McCray, NYT executive editor Dean Baquet, and Cunningham’s friends and family will take place to honor the renaming, complete with a street sign unveiling. If you’re unable to make it in person, you can catch a livestream of it on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Facebook page.

A communications advisor to the mayor clarified to Racked that the temporary renaming, a decision that’s made solely at the mayor’s discretion, will last for one week. However, “the Administration will continue to work with the Council, the community, and Bill's friends and colleagues on a permanent way to honor his legacy.”

“Fifth Avenue and 57th Street was Bill Cunningham's spot,” Diane von Furstenberg said in a release from the city. “The world of fashion always knew that. Now, thanks to our Mayor, the world will know.”

“I started a petition out of my own desire that something be done to honor a man who meant so much to the city of New York,” Cunningham’s friend and petition-starter Nick Nicholson added. “Bill Cunningham gave New York his best for decades. Today, we’re so happy that New York gives Mr. Cunningham our very best with this well-deserved honor.”

Nicholson’s petition has more than 6,200 signatures as of press time, including those of prominent fashion figures like Derek Blasberg, Nina Garcia, and Christian Siriano.

The corner already has a tribute to Cunningham up, thanks to Bergdorf Goodman.

Update: Here’s what it looks like: