Norman B. Leventhal

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Norman B. Leventhal (born c. 1915) was the chairman of The Beacon Companies, a developer and manager of office buildings, housing, and hotels. Leventhal is best known for his work in civic improvements to the city of Boston, and consequently has a park named after him of which he oversaw the creation.

Biography[edit]

Born and raised in Boston, Leventhal is a 1933 graduate of Boston Latin School and a 1938 graduate of MIT.[1][2]

At Beacon, Leventhal helped direct several major civic improvement projects in Boston, including Rowes Wharf, Center Plaza, One Post Office Square, and 5,100 units of affordable housing. Leventhal co-founded The Beacon Companies as a construction company with his brother, Robert, in 1946. The firm's conversion of Post Office Square from a 2 12-story parking garage to a lush park, with parking underground, in 1992 is considered emblematic of Leventhal's vision: to enliven and make hospitable Boston's public spaces. "We must constantly work to find ways to make the riches of Boston available to all her citizens, not just the most fortunate among us," he was quoted in a 1997 Boston Globe article. Post Office Square Park was dedicated and named Norman B. Leventhal Park the same year. As chairman of the Trust for City Hall Plaza, Leventhal currently is spearheading the effort to revitalize that center.[3]

Leventhal published Mapping Boston (MIT Press, 1999), a book about the social and topographical development of Boston, from its founding to the present day. He was inducted to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce's Academy of Distinguished Citizens in 1999 and has been honored by several other business and philanthropic organizations. He holds honorary degrees from Hebrew College and Brandeis University.

In 2004 Leventhal, a collector of historic maps, partnered with the Boston Public Library creating The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library (BPL). The partnership enables public access to the 250,000 maps and atlases in the Boston Public Library’s collection. Leventhal envisioned that the BPLs cartographic resources would lead to the foundation of educational programs for students.[4] He and his wife funded the Muriel and Norman B. Leventhal Center for Jewish Life at MIT.[5] His son is businessman Alan Leventhal.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "B.U. Bridge: Boston University community's weekly newspaper". Bu.edu. 2000-05-12. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  2. ^ MIT Alumni Bulletin: "Norman Leventhal '38 - Alumnus Devotes Career to Enriching Public Spaces" March/April 2008
  3. ^ "Norman B. Leventhal". Norman B. Leventhal Park. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  4. ^ "Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, Inc.: ''History of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center''. Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, Inc. Accessed 21 March 2008". Maps.bpl.org. Retrieved 2013-07-13. 
  5. ^ Jewish Boston: "MIT Hillel (Muriel and Norman B. Leventhal Center for Jewish Life at MIT)" by Rabbi Fisher retrieved December 21, 2014
  6. ^ Boston Magazine: "The Next Tycoon" By Greg O'Brien September 2003

External links[edit]