Balance: New York City - Edi Chen
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Abe Stark Skating Arena

This facility is named in honor of a man who loved Brooklyn, beneficence, business, and baseball – and not necessarily in that order. Born on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to Russian immigrant parents, Abe Stark began working at age 11 to help support his family. In 1910, the Starks moved to Brooklyn, where Abe began a 30-year career in the garment industry as a stock boy in a clothing shop. By the age of 21, Stark had his own men’s clothing shop at 1514 Pitkin Avenue in Brownsville. The success of the business made him one of the borough’s key players on the political and philanthropic circuits. He served as City Council President from 1954 to 1961, followed by three terms as Brooklyn Borough President. “Mr. Brooklyn,” as Stark came to be known, also founded Abe Stark Philanthropies and the Abe Stark Hillel Foundation at Brooklyn College. P.S. 346 in Brooklyn was named in his honor, and in 1965, Pratt Institute made him an honorary Doctor of Laws. Despite a distinguished career in local politics and considerable charitable efforts, Stark seems best remembered for something he did as a young tailor.

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