July 20, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
When Dennis Syntilas passed in January, he was remembered by many Astorians as a tireless advocate for the community.
This fall, a tribute to Syntilas on 30th Avenue will help keep his name alive for Astoria’s future generations.
A bill that would rename 30th Avenue between 30th Street to 29th Street – the stretch of road that contains the entrance to Athens Square park – to “Dennis Syntilas Way” is set to be passed Thursday, according to Councilman Costa Constantinides, who requested the renaming.
About 50 other streets and public spaces Citywide will be renamed through this bill.
For decades, Syntilas was a civic volunteer and advocate for the Greek-American community. Two of his major accomplishments included helping to found Athens Square, which is a park, a tribute to ancient Greece and a cultural performance space, as well as the Greek-American Homeowners Association.
“He was a quintessential community organizer,” Constantinides said. “With his passing, we wanted to make sure that we honored him, his legacy, and what he has meant to this community.”
“It certainly is a very worthy honor,” said George Stamatiades, a fellow civic leader who worked with Syntilas on the Athens Square project. “It’s an exciting way to acknowledge a community member who has worked so hard for the community.”
Stamatiades noted that many neighbors and local leaders participated in the creation of Athens Square, “but the driving force, and the one who persevered through thick and thin, was Dennis Syntilas. And he carried us with him.”
According to Constantinides, once the bill is passed by the Council and signed by the Mayor, it takes the Department of Transportation “several weeks” to produce a street sign.
The sign will likely be placed at the intersection of 30th Avenue and 30th Street. Constantinides expects that an unveiling will take place in the fall.