31st President. Typed letter signed (TLS) “Herbert Hoover”, personal stationery, April 4, 1945, Waldorf Astoria, New York, sent to “To the Electors of the / Hall of Fame / New York University / New York, New York”, in full:
It is my understanding that the Committee on National Honors of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers is advocating the election of the engineer, George Westinghouse, to the Hall of Fame. I have no hesitation in endorsing this suggestion.
Westinghouse’s utilization of electricity resulting in applied science research gave the world revolutionary and practical use of motive power. These original principles will continue to form the basis of much of our American supremacy in technical science.
George Westinghouse Jr. (October 6, 1846 – March 12, 1914) was an American entrepreneur and engineer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania who invented the railway air brake and was a pioneer of the electrical industry.
Westinghouse was eventually elected to the NYU Hall of Fame in 1955. The Hall of Fame for Great Americans is an outdoor sculpture gallery, located on the grounds of Bronx Community College in the Bronx, New York City. Completed in 1900 as part of the University Heights campus of New York University, the 630-foot (192 m) stone colonnade half-encircles the university library and houses 98 bronze portrait busts. Designed by architect Stanford White (who also designed the library), the Beaux Arts structure was donated by Helen Gould, and was formally dedicated on May 30, 1901.
New York University (under severe financial distress) was forced to sell the campus in 1973 to the City University of New York and it became Bronx Community College. Though the Hall’s renown has itself faded, its architecture remains, and it stands as a secular national shrine not just to great men and women, but to Roman ideals of fame favored at the beginning of the 20th century.