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Honoring Lucy and Lenny Cecere With a Street Co-Naming

GVSHP has proposed that the block of MacDougal Street between Houston and King Streets receive a co-naming “Lucy and Lenny Cecere Way.” Lucy and Lenny lived and owned a home and business on this block for decades. They were cornerstones of their community and contributed immeasurably to the life of their neighborhood. The proposal for the honorary street renaming will be heard at Community Board #2 on Thursday, April 5 at 6:30 pm at the NYU Silver Building, 32 Waverly Place (Washington Square East), room 520. Please come to show support, and sign the petition below.

Lucy Cecere was born to Italian immigrant parents and raised in Greenwich Village, always living near the MacDougal Street home she shared with Lenny and their family for the last several decades of her life. She co-founded the Caring Community and helped save the Village Nursing Home from closure in 1975. She was also a founding member of GVSHP’s South Village Historic Preservation Advisory board, a lifelong parishioner at Our Lady of Pompeii Church, and an indefatigable advocate for her community. More about Lucy here.

Lenny Cecere was born in Brooklyn, also to Italian immigrant parents, but lived in the Village from 1949 on. Lenny was an army veteran involved with the allied recapture of France and the Battle of the Bulge. After marrying Lucy at Our Lady of Pompeii in 1949, they moved to nearby Sullivan Street. After they bought 51 MacDougal Street in 1962, Lenny eventually took over the retail space on the ground floor, turning it into a store called “Something Special,” selling doughnuts, bagels, candy, greeting cards, and eventually renting mailboxes and copying keys. In this capacity, Lenny became a beloved and widely-known fixture in the community, whom countless Villagers, famous and every-day, came to rely upon for essential services in their daily lives. Lenny was also an active member of the Father’s Club at Our Lady of Pompeii School, and a member of the Knights of Columbus and American Legion posts in Greenwich Village.  
Lenny and Lucy’s story speaks to so much about what should be honored and remembered in our community. They were fixtures in the Village, which they loved, and gave so much to the lives of their neighbors, whether it was their warmth and humor, their tenacious advocacy, their service, or their friendship. They were the children of immigrants, they were activists, they were small business people, and most of all, they were inextricably interwoven and enormously engaged with the fabric of their neighborhood.

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The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation : 232 East 11 Street, New York, NY 10003 : 212 475 9585 :


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