May 17, 2016

Jennie Molovinsky Was A Quiet Neighbor

For nearly a hundred years the Wenz Memorial Company had a tombstone factory at 20th and Hamilton.  Their parcel extended from Hamilton Street back to Walnut Street, across from the home of former mayor Joe Daddona.   Years ago, large granite slabs would be delivered by railroad, using the the Barber Quarry spur route.  During the Phil Berman era,  the facilities were also used to produce large stone sculptures.  Behind the office and production building, most of the property was used for storage of tombstones.  Some of the stones were samples of their handiwork, and others were old stones that had been replaced with new ones, by family members.  Such was the case with my great grandmother's first stone, which has laid at wenz's for several decades.  The row houses and their front porches on S. Lafayette Street faced this portion of Wenz's, and it was very quiet, indeed.

Some readers may have noticed that Wenz's has been demolished, and the parcel will now contain a bank,  Dunkin Donut, and Woody's Sport Bar.  The residents of Lafayette Street,  experiencing complete quietness for all these years, attended the zoning hearing as objectors.  Their previous view, a dark, quiet lot, would now be replaced with a lit parking lot, with bar patrons coming and going.  Although I will not comment on the zoning issues,  residents were supposedly told by the zoners that the development would improve their quality of life.  It's one thing to have the quality of your life degraded,  it's another to have your intelligence insulted, to boot.  Perhaps the zoners need some training in sensitivity.

1 comment:

Ray Nemeth Sr said...

Wenz memorial was the only company that could manufacture head stones from scratch, they had a wire saw that could cut huge pieces of granite, and also many Italian stone cutters who probably no longer exist. Stones now are mostly just ordered and shipped in. I worked at Wenz for a time in the 1960s between time in the military, I did lettering and carving. I also worked at Keystone memorial and a company in Hawaii while I was in the Navy.I don't know if Wenz is in business anymore.