City officials dedicated the Front Street Plaza to former Mayor Jack Markey Thursday for his work in setting the stage for a prosperous downtown New Bedford.

The plaza at the corner of Front and Union Streets was officially named after Markey during a brief ceremony and plaque unveiling.

According to City Council President Linda Morad, Markey played an important role in breathing new life into historic downtown.

"He was instrumental in a lot of what has gone on in the downtown and has revived our downtown," Morad said.

In 1974, Markey used $3.5 million in federal funding to restore Downtown New Bedford Historic District. Projects included repairs to roadways, sidewalks and landscaping, as well as the installation of historic street lights and underground utility lines.

Councilor at Large Naomi Carney said it was about time to see Markey recognized for his dedication to the city.

"He has always been an icon in this community and it was so great to see that dedication today and see everybody come out because he was truly a great mayor," Carney said.

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