The city giveth, and the city taketh away. So it was that Edward I. Koch received a bridge on Monday, and Dr. Theodore L. Kazimiroff lost a boulevard.
Dr. Kazimiroff, to the unacquainted, was a dentist, naturalist, amateur archaeologist and the first official historian of the Bronx. He once, legend has it, extracted a tooth from the mouth of a live lion in the Bronx Zoo.
Until Monday, he was also the namesake of a few scenic blocks of Bronx thoroughfare running along and through the New York Botanical Garden, a stretch officially known as Dr. Theodore Kazimiroff Boulevard since 1981.
Three decades of posterity came to an ignominious end when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, hours before he added Mr. Koch’s name to the Queensboro Bridge, signed a bill that stripped Dr. Kazimiroff, who died in 1980, of his street and restored the historic name of Southern Boulevard.
Officially, the change was portrayed as a matter of practicality. The city will spend $1,312.50 to install 15 new street signs to reflect the revised name.