In a scene more reminiscent of Forrest Gump than Sully, Miracle on the Hudson Captain CB “Sully” Sullenberger will be getting a bench in Hudson River Park (rather than a street name in Hell’s Kitchen) to commemorate his heroics — providing $5,000 can be raised in a GoFundMe.

Bench Sully Forrest Gump Miracle Hudson
Captain CB “Sully” Sullenberger will take his place in history in Hudson River Park if a GoFundMe is successful. Photo composite: Sully/Forrest Gump

Last week, Manhattan Community Board 4 refused the application by Linda Lipman to name part of W50th Street after Captain CB “Sully” Sullenberger. The street marks the point where Sully famously made an emergency landing of a passenger plane in the Hudson River — with all 155 people on board surviving after a bird strike shortly after takeoff. 

The Friends of Hudson River Park, the designated fundraising partner of Hudson River Park, have agreed to have a bench named in honor or Captain Sullenberger, as long as $5,000 can be raised with a GoFundMe.

Lipman, who has worked alongside Sullenberger as a publicist at Hiltzik Strategies, told W42ST that this was “Sully good news,” as the fundraising was launched at 11am today (Tuesday). “We’re working with the wonderful team over at the Hudson River Park Trust to commemorate Sully and the Miracle on the Hudson’s 15 Anniversary…with a bench overlooking the Hudson and a plaque commemorating the Miracle and this significant anniversary.” The bench will most likely be at Pier 84 in the park, as Pier 90 (at W50th Street) is part of Manhattan Cruise Terminal and not a public area.

The Community Board voted last week to write to the Department of Transportation and Councilmember Erik Bottcher, denying the street naming request. They said in their letter: “The Board found that the applicant did not meet the intent of the Board’s guidelines regarding Secondary Street Re-Namings. Although the Board acknowledges the heroism displayed by Captain Sullenberger on January 15, 2009 when he and his crew safely guided US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency landing on the Hudson River, the Board believes that Secondary Street Co-Namings should be reserved for individuals who have demonstrated extraordinary longstanding commitment to New York City and the relevant area.”

The Board also suggested that Captain Sullenberger’s heroism would be more appropriately celebrated with a plaque closer to the Hudson River. In the fundraising page, organizers said: “As we approach the Miracle on the Hudson’s 15th anniversary this January 15, 2024, we honor those who made this miracle possible. Please donate to make this commemorative bench a reality.”

Fundraisers aim to dedicate a bench in Hudson River Park, honoring Sully, his crew, first responders, and everyday heroes involved in the Miracle on the Hudson. “The location of the bench will overlook the stretch of the Hudson where the plane found safety. This will be a place for all New Yorkers to celebrate hope, inspiration, and second chances,” organizers said on the fundraising page.

Sully Composite
Captain CB “Sully” Sullenberger will have a bench dedicated to him in Hudson River Park if a GoFundMe is successful. Photo: Captain CB “Sully” Sullenberger/GoFundMe

Roughly 850 benches are situated throughout Hudson River Park, with dedications costing between $100,000 and $5,000. Friends of Hudson River Park and Linda Lipman hope to reach their fundraising goal by December 1, 2023.

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  1. I kind of feel that money would be better put to use to improve the security cameras on Pier 84 🤷🏻‍♂️

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