From 1972 to 2020, Joseph R. Lentol (colloquially known to many as Joe Lentol) represented Greenpoint — as well as Fort Greene and Williamsburg in District 50 — in the New York State Assembly. And now, to punctuate his nearly-50-year tenure, Brooklyn Public Library’s Center for Brooklyn History has opened a collection in his honor, the Joseph R. Lentol papers.
Said papers include photos, press releases, correspondences, flyers, posters, and his very own briefcase.
Lentol, son of State Senator and Supreme Court Justice Edward S. Lentol, spent his years as an Assemblymember working towards criminal justice reform like abolishing the death penalty and getting the “Raise the Age” bill passed, as well as “rescuing” the waterfront by pushing back against power plant and waste transfer station development to secure more green spaces.
Though Lentol was challenged and ultimately defeated for the first time in decades by Emily Gallagher in 2020, he told Greenpointers in 2021 that he “still has a lot more to give and a lot more to do.” Later that year, the U.S. Post Office at 66 Meserole Avenue would be renamed in his honor.
The collection can be accessed here, and the physical location at 128 Pierrepont St. in Brooklyn Heights is scheduled to reopen this coming September (it’s currently closed for construction).