Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Knickerbocker Village History: Madonna House

The fellas on the unofficial Knickerbocker List Serve have been chatting about the fire at the Madonna House, located on Cherry and Market. This occurred some time in the mid-late 1950's. In the picture above (taken in June of 1933), the Madonna House (173 Cherry Street) is to the right of the building where the word Castoria is visible (in this view). Better detail is obtained by clicking on the picture.
Here's the discussion:

I remember the fire and watching it with my father after spending the day at Jones Beach with Barbara Levy's family. I also have a memory of them having a great baseball team--kind of the predecessors of the St.Joseph's dynasty, and a pitcher named Mullarky (Tommy?) who seemed to throw 100 mph.

Tommy Mullarky. I remember that name. Like an ancient legend which I guess is what that name is to me. Kind of like Dionysius. Or Lucritius. Unless I'm mixing him up with somebody else. Could he have been one of Hammerabi's crew?

Yes, I remember the fire and watching it from Tanahey Park

Which famous KV character associates Madonna House with a chance but indubitably blessed event that went on behind the wooden sideboards to the left of the main entrance to the parish. You can put it this way, our compatriot got some from nun. Now the laws of nature proclaim that you can't get something from nothing but this cute little thing in a habit had a way of making everything in the Kingdom come.

I remember the night of the MH fire ...from our living room (3rd floor) we faced the area between the courts but also looked out diagonally onto Cherry St and had a clear view of about three courts of the park, the Journal Amer bldg., Water St, the bridge, and at one time the MH ... until that night when I looked out of the window and saw flames ...I remember not being sure at first cause it appeared like dancing, reflecting yellow lights going up and down ...but it was the MH fire.

Bob, your story places the fire during late spring-summer and on the weekend.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Madonna house burned down in the sixties unless my brother, friends and I went to a burned out building all through the 50s.