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Andrew Langston, the late founder of WDKX-FM, one of the first African-American-owned radio stations in New York, will be the namesake of a new street to run through the new Midtown site in downtown Rochester, the city announced Monday.
Pending approval by the City Planning Commission and City Council, Andrew Langston Way will run through open space near what is now the new Windstream building at the corner of Main Street and South Clinton Avenue. The open space will be called Midtown Commons.
The names were selected by Mayor Lovely Warren and a City Hall committee from 328 suggestions submitted by the public over two weeks in late March. The city had asked that names relate to the city or its history and, per city code, not be of a living person or someone who died within the past year.
Langston died in 2010 at the age of 81. He founded WDKX, which airs on 103.9 FM, in 1974. The station's call letters, WDKX, honor African-American civil rights activists Frederick Douglass, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
In introducing the names, Warren said there was no better way to pay tribute to Langston.
"Just as Midtown Plaza was the first of its kind for indoor malls, Andrew Langston was a true Rochester pioneer for African-Americans in the field of broadcasting," Warren said.
WDKX remains very popular in the greater Rochester area, particularly among listeners under 35 and African-Americans, who comprise about 42 percent of the city's population. Its playlist ranges from classic soul music to hip hop and R&B.
Across the street from the Midtown site, Rasheed Gibson, 37, a Rochester resident, said the honor reflected the city.
"It'll bring out the good history of the brother and the radio station that represents the city," Gibson said.