A dedication ceremony honoring former City Manager John Menario is planned for 3:15 p.m. Friday in Portland’s Lobsterman Park.

The city is renaming a portion of the park at Temple and Middle streets the “John E. Menario Plaza.” The lobsterman statue will remain in the plaza.

The City Council voted June 20 to honor Menario, 80, whose tenure from 1967-1976 included selection of the site that now holds Cross Insurance Arena.

City Councilor Jon Hinck was the only member to vote against the renaming, partly because of Menario’s embrace of urban renewal, a planning philosophy that led to the destruction of historic buildings and large swaths of ethnic neighborhoods and a widening of pedestrian-friendly streets into traffic thoroughfares.

Menario oversaw the widening of Spring and Franklin streets, as well as the demolition of more than 100 homes deemed to be urban blight in the 1960s, including a section of the city known as “Little Italy.”

Lincoln Park before and after the Franklin Street urban renewal project

Courtesy of the Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives

Many U.S. cities are working to undo damage done in the name of urban renewal. Portland recently redesigned Spring Street into a more bike- and pedestrian-friendly road and has studied ways to narrow Franklin Street. It is also considering turning State and High streets back into two-way roads.

A city spokeswoman said no city funds were used to acquire the granite pedestal and plaque that will be dedicated in Lobsterman Park.