Some of New Jersey’s most iconic figures are getting their names on something other than awards or gold records: Garden State Parkway rest stops.
On Tuesday (July 27), the New Jersey Turnpike Authority approved naming nine Parkway service areas after luminaries from groundbreaking baseball player Larry Doby to rocker Jon Bon Jovi and late actor James Gandolfini.
It’s being done in conjunction with the New Jersey Hall of Fame, which has inducted more than 180 people since 2008 in fields such as science, sports and the arts.
The service areas will contain Hard Rock Cafe-style exhibits and artifacts, and an interactive Wall of Fame featuring a life-sized video monitor showcasing Hall of Fame inductees and their acceptance speeches, according to Gov. Phil Murphy’s office.
Murphy said it’s part of a larger effort to showcase local heroes in a variety of fields at locations around the state, including Battleship New Jersey, the New Jersey Turnpike and Newark Penn Station.
In addition to Gandolfini, star of HBO’s Sopranos, Doby and Bon Jovi, service areas will be named after broadcast journalist Connie Chung; Grammy-winning singer Whitney Houston; Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison; author Judy Blume; Cuban-American singer Celia Cruz; and perhaps New Jersey’s most famous native son, Frank Sinatra.