By JOHN T. WARD
Katharine Elkus White, Red Bank’s first and only female mayor, may finally be getting some overdue recognition in the form of hard civic assets.
Mayor Pasquale Menna wants to name a small plaza now under construction outside borough hall on Monmouth Street for White, who also served as the first chairperson of the New Jersey Highway Authority and four years as America’s ambassador to Denmark, the Asbury Park Press reports.
White, who served as mayor in the 1950s and from 1964 to 1969 as ambassador, died in April, 1985 at the age of 78.
The closest anything in town comes to being named for her is Ambassador Drive, an all-but-private road that connects Spring Street with the Elkridge condo complex. Elkridge itself was named after the private estate on Fox Hill that it replaced: the longtime summer getaway for the New York-based family of Abram Elkus, a lawyer who served as the last U.S. Ambassador to Turkey’s Ottoman Empire. He was Katherine White’s father.
A campaign to name something for White has been spearheaded by Oakland Street resident Carl Colmorgen, who called her “a very influential person who put Red Bank on the map.”
Menna’s plan, according to the Press, is to name a new seating area outside the town hall for White. Red Bank RiverCenter is building the landscaped feature, complete with 40 feet of seating donated by the Count Basie Theatre, whose patrons frequently gather there before shows.
Want to know more about White? Check out this archived redbankgreen article for starters.