Thursday, July 9, 2009

Streets Renamed for Nancy Cataldi, Frederick Haller

By Conor Greene

Streets in Richmond Hill and Glendale have been renamed after two notable members of the neighborhoods, announced City Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley.

The Union Turnpike mall between Woodhaven Boulevard and Myrtle Avenue in Glendale will be named the Frederick D. Haller Way, and 109th Street between 86th Street and Jamaica Avenue will be known as Nancy Cataldi Way. The ceremonial names were approved on June 30, when the City Council passed legislation to rename streets throughout the five boroughs.

“I am proud to honor both Nancy Cataldi and Frederick D. Haller for their leadership and dedication to preserving the character of our community and improving the lives of our members,” said Crowley (D-Middle Village) in a statement. “Both Nancy Cataldi and Frederick Haller demonstrate how each of us, when we work hard and remain dedicated, can make lasting change in our community. That is why I believe it is important to recognize those who are proactive about improving the lives of all our neighbors, and documenting our history.”

Nancy Lucia Cataldi settled in Richmond Hill is 1963 and had many of her photographs published in prestigious magazines. In 1994, with boyfriend Stefano Palo, she purchased a 1905 Victorian House in Richmond Hill at 86-22 109th Street. She marveled at its romantic and historic allure and developed a deep interest in the neighborhood. The house was tenderly restored and refurbished. Through research she learned that the house was designed by noted Richmond Hill architect Henry E. Haugaard.

In 1996 with the help of Dr. Stanley Cogan, Queens Borough Historian, her house received one of the first Queensmark awards for historical, architectural and cultural merit. In 1997 she and other residents formed the Richmond Hill Historical Society, and by 1999 she was President of the organization. In 2000, during a House and Garden Tour, her beloved mother Lucia passed away. Teaming up with Richmond Hill Historian Carl Ballenas, the idea of writing a book on the history of Richmond Hill evolved. Working with Arcadia Publishing they gathered many vintage postcards and newspaper articles. The book has over 200 photographs and many informative historical accounts.

Frederick D. Haller helped organize the first Home School Association at Sacred Heart School in Glendale and was a charter member of the Monsignor Sherman Council, Knights of Columbus. He is also a member of the Greater Ridgewood Historical Society, founder of the Greater Ridgewood YMCA, board member and past president of the Glendale Kiwanis Club and a member of Community Board 5, serving as chairman from 1972 to 1983. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Wyckoff Heights Hospital for forty years and served as Chairman of the Board for more than fifteen years (1982 – 1998), the longest chairmanship of the hospital in its more than 100 year history.

The new names are ceremonial, meaning they will not replace the official name on maps. The new signs are expected to be installed by the fall.

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