“Natalie Rogers Way”: Namesake Street Posthumously Bestowed

Natalie Rogers Way street name unveiling
Friends and family gathered to commemorate the unveiling of “Natalie Rogers Way” on 164th Street, including Town of Islip Supervisor Angie Carpenter.
Photo courtesy of New York City Council Member James F. Gennaro.

On Friday, May 10, New York City Council Member James F. Gennaro hosted a street naming ceremony honoring the life and legacy of former Ocean Beach Mayor Nartalie Katz Rogers.


Joined by Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter and several local dignitaries, Gennaro co-named the intersection of Goethals Avenue and 164th Street in Jamaica Queens “Natalie Katz Rogers Way.”


The street was named in her honor commemorating her work in founding Queens Centers for Progress (QCP). Most remember Natalie as a friend, neighbor and leader. But what many Fire Island folks don’t know is that Natalie Katz Rogers was also a pioneer in advocating for children with cerebral palsy.


She began her journey in 1950 when she visited the cerebral palsy ward at Queens General Hospital Center. After witnessing the plight of children suffering from the condition, Natalie established United Cerebral Palsy of Queens (now known as Queens Centers for Progress) with a group of concerned parents and like-minded volunteers.


“I am honored to host today’s co-naming ceremony honoring Natalie Katz Rogers,” said Council Member James F. Gennaro. “Natalie dedicated her life to public service and advocacy. In honoring Natalie Katz Rogers with this co-naming, we not only recognize her tireless dedication to individuals with cerebral palsy, but also celebrate her enduring legacy of compassion, advocacy, and service. Natalie’s remarkable journey, from founding Queens Centers for Progress to her advocacy at the state and national levels, exemplifies the profound impact one person can have on their community and beyond. It is my hope that when anyone walks by this intersection, they are reminded of Natalie’s inspiring contributions.”


Natalie continued to work tirelessly to grow the QCP through fundraising and recruitment efforts, attracting medical and academic professionals to the cause. Her efforts actually led to the construction in 1974 of a training and treatment center also named in her honor. The intersection was chosen for its proximity to the facility.


“Natalie Katz Rodgers lived a life devoted to service to others, especially to those with cerebral palsy,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. “This street co-naming will help ensure Natalie’s legacy of caring, support, and advocacy will live on for a long, long time to come.”


Rogers’ dear friend and Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter was also on hand for the momentous occasion. “She would be so honored and at the same time humbled,” said Carpenter. “Natalie gave it her all in everything she did, and did it all with all her heart!”


Rogers was a woman far ahead of her time. Early in life she worked for TWA as one of only two female aeronautical engineers in the nation during World War II. Later she was appointed by New York City Mayor Abe Beam to head the Civil Service Commission and she was the first female mayor of Ocean Beach. She passed away in 2023 at the age of 103.