BOSTON–Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has issued an official Proclamation declaring today, August 30th, to be Norman B. Leventhal Day, on what would have been the late Boston real estate developer and philanthropist’s 100th birthday.
You might walk through Norman B. Leventhal Park in Post Office Square every day and not know anything about the man it was named for, or run across South Station to catch a train without pausing to consider who built it and when. Although Leventhal passed away in 2015, he is remembered by the lasting impact he had on the City of Boston.
Leventhal, a graduate of Boston Latin and MIT, changed Boston’s skyline during his career and brought us some of our most valued landmarks including Post Office Square, South Station, Rowes Wharf and Center Plaza, through the company he co-founded with his brother, Beacon Companies.
In addition to developing some of the most prominent buildings in Boston, Leventhal’s legacy lives on through his collection of 200,000 maps housed in the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, which he endowed with $10 million gift in 2004.
An avid walker and history lover, he brought his passions together and also created the Norman B. Leventhal Walk to the Sea, a free, historical walking tour starting at Beacon Hill and ending at Long Wharf. The walk features panels with maps from his collection to educate tourists and Bostonians alike about the changes the city has undergone, and was dedicated in his name by former Mayor Menino in 2008.
Leventhal’s efforts reshaping the city were just a fraction of his contributions as he was an advocate for many local organizations supporting causes like education, health care, the arts and the Jewish community, including founding the Jewish Community Home for the Elderly and the Jewish Community Center in Newton.