New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Foley Square is named for Thomas F. “Big Tom” Foley (1852-1925), a prominent Democratic Party leader from the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Foley left school at the age of thirteen to support his widowed mother, working for a period as a blacksmith’s helper. In 1877 he began his active connection with politics as a Tammany election district captain and rose to be First Assembly District leader.
Although Foley served as a member of the old City Council, as Alderman, and as Sheriff, he generally avoided elected office, preferring to sponsor others. His lasting gift to his party and indeed his Nation was to choose young Alfred E. Smith as candidate for the New York State Assembly in 1903. Smith rose to be Speaker, then Governor. In 1928 Smith would be the first Catholic to run for President.
At Foley’s death in 1925 Smith stated, “My personal and political welfare were as much a matter of concern to him as though I was his own son.” The New York Times ran the following headline about his funeral: “East Side Crowds Mourn the Passing of Almost the Last of Old-Time Leaders.” In 1926 the Board of Aldermen offered “Big Tom” and enduring tribute, when they named this city park, in the heart of New York’s government district, in his memory.
Erected 2000 by City of New York Parks & Recreation.
Location. 40° 42.892′ N, 74° 0.122′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is at the intersection of Centre Street and Worth Street, on the right when traveling north on Centre Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10007, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Foley Square Before 1600 (a few steps from this marker); New York County Court House (within shouting distance of this marker); Civic Center (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); African Burial Ground National Monument (about 700 feet away); "Sankofa" (about 700 feet away); First National Sunday School Convention (about 800 feet away); Municipal Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Surrogates Court (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
Categories. • Government •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 31, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 429 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 31, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.