The city of San Francisco celebrated vocalist Tony Bennett by renaming part of a street in his honor on June 2.
The block of Mason Street in front of The Fairmont Hotel, where his first public performance of the iconic song "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" took place in December 1961, is now known as Tony Bennett Way. The legislation renaming the street was passed unanimously by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in November of last year, and was one of the last official acts of the late Mayor Edwin M. Lee.
“Tony Bennett forever immortalized our great city with the legendary song ‘I Left My Heart in San Francisco,’ so it is only appropriate that we return the favor by renaming a portion of Mason Street in his honor,” said the new incumbent Mayor Mark Farrell. “Throughout his iconic career, Tony has been a wonderful ambassador for our City, always eager to literally sing the praises of our home. It fills me with pride to formally recognize San Francisco’s longtime relationship with our great friend by announcing the unveiling of Tony Bennett Way.”
The street-naming celebrations kicked off with a stuntman dressed as the 91-year-old singer sliding down a rope on the side of The Fairmont Hotel. Bennett himself then helped unveil the official city street sign bearing his name, and the festivities closed with a free and open block party with food, music and big-band dancing.
Watch a video of Bennett performing 'I Left My Heart in San Francisco' from an appearance in 1994 on MTV Unplugged in the player below.