[this article originally appeared in the Feb. 3, 2009 Westchester Herald]
"Nothing will happen (to the New Rochelle Armory) without the State being the lead agency." These words by Peter Parente at the Save Our Armory (SOA) meeting set the tone on January 26 at the American Legion, Post 8 in New Rochelle. Both Ron Tocci and Peter Parente, co-chairs of the SOA Committee, wanted to get the city to agree on uses for the Armory. Parente mentioned that there are federal grants and loans that could be used to develop a good business plan for the Echo Bay area.
Forest City Ratner's financial problems according to Tocci have caused the company to cancel some of their pending projects. With this possible void, putting a new roof on the Armory might create "a plan that makes sense," Tocci continued. Councilman Lou Trangucci questioned how to validate that Forest City Ratner is "close to bankruptcy." He added the company is "still committed to the project." A neighborhood needs not only a plan to save the building. but also funding. When asked about the stimulus program and funding for the city, Councilman Trangucci suggested that the $10 million project on storm water was a current priority of the city. Parente and Tocci were asked to go on WVOX to explain to the public where the SOA committee is today.Read more
In a brilliant red white and blue display of soldiers on their way to the battle of White Plains, a silhouette by Norman Rockwell greets you as you enter the city. Below this amazing piece of Americana is a sign proclaiming “New Rochelle Rich in History”. This one piece, meticulously restored, says so much about this fine city. There is, however, more than meets the eye.
A large, one of a kind structure sits on Main Street. One of very few Naval Armories ever built in the U.S. It is a part of our history and the culture of this city and has helped define our place in this world today by serving us throughout the past. From those who were sent off to fight the “war to end all wars”, to those who marshaled to contribute to the recovery efforts in the aftermath of September 11th this edifice takes it’s place in our society as no other place can. The sole survivor of an era that will forever be forgotten if we do not do what we are compelled to do, for the sake of those before us, and those that will follow. The clearest vision will see the capacity that exists in a building we already own. The potential to deliver the best of what New Rochelle has to offer cannot be overlooked. The possibilities are endless if you look outside the box.Read more