A time of the signs as Walsh’s name rises

The mayor has added his name on hundreds of pieces of public property.
Lane Turner/Globe Staff
The mayor has added his name on hundreds of pieces of public property.

After 20 years, the signs of change have come slowly. First, on Jan. 6, there were the two office directories in City Hall.

Then, it was Massachusetts Avenue, where a new welcome began beckoning drivers to the Newmarket Industrial District. In Boston Marine Industrial Park, four of those signs also appeared.

Then came trash bins from Newbury Street to Faneuil Hall Marketplace: twelve Big Bellygarbage cans ornamented with these words — Mayor Martin J. Walsh.


In Walsh’s first four months in the city’s top office, his name has been added to hundreds of pieces of public property, including the newly renovated Childe Hassam Park in the South End. Walsh’s name has been added to street maps and trucks used by graffiti cleaning crews.

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The changes represent a small fraction of the thousands of buildings, parks, road signs, municipal vehicles, and Hubway bicycles still bearing the name of Thomas M. Menino, Walsh’s predecessor.

So far, the new administration has spent several thousand dollars on signs festooned with Walsh’s name, according to a rough tally complied by press secretary Kate Norton. It is difficult to be precise because the city has more than one sign guy.

Generally, the administration is adding Walsh’s name only to new signs, Norton said. For example, the city replaced a large broken sign at Blackstone Community Center, in the South End, and added Walsh’s name.

City employees have removed Menino’s name from all public works trucks, but they have not replaced it with the name of the new boss. The administration is not, Norton said, actively scrubbing Menino’s name off all public property and replacing it with Walsh’s.