The Malverne Village Board has unanimously voted to rename a street formerly named for a Ku Klux Klan leader.
The street, Lindner Place, will now be known as Acorn Way after the board's voted last week.
Years ago, the street had been named after Paul Lindner, a 1920s village founder who also led cross burnings and KKK rallies on Long Island and in Queens. Lindner lived on a farm where downtown Malverne currently exists and also served on the village school board.
The board voted in April to change the street's name, condemning the racism Lindner touted and saying it did not follow the community’s diversity and acceptance.
“I think it’s a testament to the wonderful community I’m privileged to lead and we were able to come out on the right side," Malverne Mayor Keith Corbett said. "There’s no question the name should be changed and I’m glad we got there. We were able to reinstate who we are as a community from this day forward.”
The Lindner Place Renaming Committee held a public hearing last month to discuss 50 potential names and eliminated any that would be named after people.
The renaming committee surveyed a variety of names including "acorn," "library" and "Mayberry." Acorn was the favorite, based on the village motto, “From Oaks to Acorns” and the idea that children represent acorns, growing into oaks, committee member Jamie Bellamy told the board.
Community members and Malverne High School students have been advocating to rename the street since George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered in 2020 by a white Minneapolis police officer.
The street runs past the Malverne Library and Maurice W. Downing Primary School. The school, previously renamed from Lindner Elementary School, was among the first statewide to accept Black students.
The village will order new signs for the street and notify the U.S. Postal Service about the name change. Officials hope to reveal the new signs next month.
Malverne Superintendent Lorna Lewis said she was proud her students pushed for change. She said they will change the address at Dowling Elementary School immediately.
“Our history is very complicated, and I think it’s important to recognize what’s gone on in the past, but remedy to whatever we felt was wrong,” Lewis said. “ Our students said Paul Lindner is not the person that represents who we are today.”