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Nashua Telegraph Newspaper Archives May 6 1990, Page 4

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Nashua Telegraph (Newspaper) - May 6, 1990, Nashua, New Hampshire A-4 the sunday Telegraph May 6,1990 from Pago a1 out against those who play music too loudly or toss empty Beer bottles into the Street. A they have to take the stand and say a look i live Here and i done to like what you re doing. Could you please keep this a Nice area a a Kuchinski said. This neighbourhood is typically referred to As the a tree streets a area a nickname reflective of such woodsy names As Chestnut Walnut and Pine. Because of the areas rough reputation in recent years the name sometimes has taken a derogatory tone when used by outside residents. It is one of the City a oldest neighbourhoods having been established Well Over a too years ago. As one resident put it the a a skin a of the neighbourhood is always changing As residents upgrade their Homes but buildings themselves have been standing As Long As anyone can remember. In its history the neighbourhood has been Home to different ethnic groups immigrating to the City in search of work. These immigrants formed their own smaller Community ties Rich with distinct cultures. In general the greeks settled in the West Pearl Street area the poles and lithuanians in the a High rock1�?T area near High Street and the French in the West Hollis Street area. They crowded into a mix of apartments tenements and single family Homes Many of which were later converted into rental housing people immigrating to the City still come to this downtown neighbourhood in search of inexpensive housing today Many of these Are Spanish speaking people coming to share in Nashua a economic Boom a trend that is apparently continuing despite the recent slowdown. Hector Hidalgo a resident of City limits Nashua housing authority a Bron Stein apartments came to the area from the dominican Republic nine years ago. He said he still sees a lot of new faces coming to Nashua looking for employment. Hidalgo who served briefly in the state legislature said some of the people who move to Nashua leave soon after arriving apparently in a continuing search for a better lifestyle. One of his motivations for seeking Public office was to help people find decent housing said Hidalgo although he had to resign soon after being elected in november 1988 because of a Job conflict. Many residents blame the transient population of the neighbourhood for some of its problems in recent years including run Down housing and drug trafficking. John Cotter who owns jacks Barber shop at the Corner of Kinsley and Palm streets said the area near his business had been a typical hangout for drug dealers. Sometimes buyers would Park in front of his shop and stagger Back after sampling their Purchase. Cotter said they always went in the same door a if you had put a toll Booth out Here you could have made a Fortune with just people coining to pick up their drugs a a Cotter said. But in the past few months the activity has been less noticeable Cotter said. He credits City police for cracking Down on dealers in the neighbourhood but adds that Many probably just took their business behind closed doors. Cotter who lives diagonally across the Street from his shop has lived in Nashua for 24 years. He describes his neighbors As a Friendly enough a but says others move in and out fairly regularly. A i know people from Tyngsborough better than my own neighbors a he said. It. David Dvareckas of the Nashua police department said the streets of the neighbourhood have been quiet for some time with the exception of complaints typical to an congested residential area. Dvareckas agrees that police have a broken up some of the dealers who had grouped together in the neighbourhood. He also Points to an August 1988 fire on Palm Street which destroyed a building labelled a a drug Haven a for helping rid the neighbourhood of a Long time hangout for dealers. Many residents considered the fire a welcomed cure to a persistent problem that had threatened the peace of the Street. Nashua contractor Richard ban Kowski bought the building and renovated it with the help of Federal Community development Money. Residents feel the extensive renovations of the gutted building gave the neighbourhood a needed lift. Sarah Hinsley the City a housing rehabilitation coordinator who oversees the Federal loan program said Bankowski a project helped turn around Palm Street. When one building owner puts Energy into renovating a dilapidated building other Are Likely to follow she said. A a it a like a trickle up effect a Hinsley explained. A they see what a going on and they feel a Little prouder of their neighbourhood a Richard Vidito of 22 Lake St. Relaxes on his porch with his dog. Staff photo by Kathy Seward Mac Kay along with rebuilding 07 Palm St., Bankowski renovated a building next door bringing 14 new units to the neighbourhood with rents subject to Federal guidelines. He then moved around the Corner building a 16-unit apartment building on West Hollis Street on an empty lot that had a reputation As a seedy hangout. Although no Federal Money was involved in this project Bankowski said he is still using housing and Urban development department guidelines for setting rents. While Security deposits Are required he is willing to work out a payment plan if someone cannot afford to put Down All the Money at once. A a there a so Many empty apartments out there. You have to work a Deal with someone a Bankowski said. In return Bankowski a live in manager Eugene Ricard who grew up in the neighbourhood demands that tenants pay their rent on time and respect others living in the recently opened apartment building. So far most have cooperated with the rules he has set Down Ricard said. He did not hesitate to ask one resident to leave however after getting complaints from others about heavy a a traffic in and out of his apartment. A if your tenants cooperate with you that a 90 percent of the Battle a he said. Ricard also keeps a watchful Eye on the area surrounding both of Bankowski a projects and he will Contact City officials if he sees a problem if nearby tenants or landlords cause trouble it could create problems for his tenants Ricard said. Kuchinski agrees that residents with the help of City officials must get personally involved to protect their neighbourhood. The Alderman said that one of his goals in upcoming months will be a to assist and encourage the residents to take Back their neighbourhoods from the inconsiderate minority who Are hell Bent on ruining the peace and Tranquillity of the area. A much of this disruption of cleanliness and serenity is the fault of certain landlords whose Only concern seems to be the profits they reap from the rundown rentals that Are inhabited by obnoxious uncaring Kuchinski said. Despite these problem spots the Loving attention spent in the Upkeep of Many Homes in the neighbourhood is plainly visible. In recent weeks the first Spring Flowers appeared along the Borders of Small lawns and shrubbery that cushions the Homes of this thickly settled neighbourhood residents carefully attended to their Yards adding greenery to an area that despite its nickname contains few Trees. In other cases property owners Long ago gave up the Battle to maintain any Green space. Around these buildings hard packed mud or pavement leads right up to front stairs or porches. An old time Mill worker making $10 a week for 60 hours of labor could hardly afford to put much Money into fixing up a Home. Today s residents Many of whom Are elderly and on fixed incomes face the same problem tree streets shedding blighted image the downtown Nashua neighbourhood extends North to the Nashua River South to Salmon Brook West to Pine Street and East to main Street. Over the past few years the City has helped to clean up Many Homes with Federal housing rehabilitation funds. These Grants have been used to renovate 114 buildings containing a total of 291 apartments. Ray Bechard born 75 years ago in his Vine Street Home renovated an upstairs apartment for $28,000 in the same House his father bought for $1,800. When he was growing up most of the living space in the Small Home was set aside As bedrooms for 13 children. Quot this was a Shack but i remember my father bought this because where in the hell could you go with 13 kids a he said. Many of the buildings that housed the shops and residences of the High Rock and West Pearl Street ethnic communities Are gone today. In fact a Large Section of the neighbourhood was razed completely in the 1960s and 70s As part of federally funded Urban renewal projects. Gone Are the run Down tenements where Mill workers crowded together to save Money gone Are the greek coffeehouses where immigrants played cards and argued Over the politics of their Homeland. Gone Are the polish restaurants where one could buy a bowl of cabbage soup and Rye bread for 15 cents. Said Kuchinski a the area right now is Barren compared to what it the Federal projects reflected the goals of planners of that Era who believed a key to Urban development was in Clearing slum areas around commercial areas and downtown to make room for parking. Razed Homes were not replaced. The area Between the Nashua River and Walnut West Pearl and main streets was cleared in the Early 1960s for parking. Later the area around Myrtle Street was bulldozed to make Way for Bronstein apartments and the Nashua District courthouse. A they did the whole area. A Boom gone a Kuchinski said. Today that renewal continues in some fashion with the ongoing conversion of clock Tower place in the Nashua Millyard. The project a tree streets Page a5french Church anchors neighbourhood by Cynthia Jones Telegraph staff it was started in 1871, a pans to serve the abundance of French speaking roman catholics who had left Rural Quebec to become workers in Nashua s thundering textile Mills. For the French Community religion language and culture were the focus of their lives and the binding agent became St Louis de Gonzague Church More than a Century later the Church on the Corner of West Hollis and Chestnut streets is still Central to the neighbourhood and extends the warmth of Home to a new wave of French canadians Quot close to 5 percent of the Active parishioners Are primarily French speaking and adjusting to the English language said the Rev Raymond Laferriere pastor of St. Louis de Gonzague a they came Here eight or nine years ago when the construction Industry boomed in the Church s ethnic heritage remains in its Celebration of the mass in French each Day and its two French social and religious organizations in the Parish Les doyens the Deans or the elderly of the Paris hand the Les Filles de Isabelle daughters of Isabella but the Church is no longer a tight ethnic Island its communicants include hispanics african americans orientals and English speaking catholics a the close knit nature of the pans has gone but allegiance to the Parish remains Strong Many of the communicants who moved away from the neighbor Hood have made arrangements to have their funerals Here and be buried in our cemeteries a the priest said the old Parish cemetery has nearly As Long a lineage As the Church itself it was founded by monsignor Jean Baptiste Henn Victor Milette from Montreal and although Milette was not the first pastor he was a the real builder of the Church Quot and a a giant among according to Lafe Nerre Milette arrived in Nashua in 1871, and the original Church was completed in 1873 in 1875, the former Goodwin Home was bought and became the Church rectory and in 1880, Milette had bought land on West Hollis Street for the Church cemetery during the industrious priest s tenure he established a boys school a girls school an orphanage and in the past. The Board lists the latin name for St. Louis which is St. Abyss. Lafe Nerre explained that St. Louis was the Patron Saint of youth. There were 2,300 communicants at the time the Church was dedicated a about the same number As we have today a continued Laferrierre noting the Parish has grown by 150 families in the last five years. Quot Young families Are becoming very Active in our Parish. We have More baptisms and More first communions and that brings More families Back into the Church a he said the families Are settling into the Homes built in the last Century along Chestnut Pine and Vine streets. The priest said they know the older houses when renovated Are a better alternative than buying Homes in the outlying parts of the City. Laferrierre acknowledged that there also is an unsavoury element in the neighbourhood. A they come to Church too and i believe they Benefit from the the influx of Young people bodes Well for the churches future said Maurice Lane president of the Parish Council and a member of the Parish All his life. A it is revitalizing itself a said Labrie who also serves As supervisor of St Louis two cemeteries. Although Labrie characterizes the Church As traditional sociability seems built into the Church bricks. In addition to the religious emphasis services Are held in the Church to commemorate All National holidays the choir sings secular patriotic music and Coffee and doughnuts Are served after the service. A we have one of the Best choirs in the state a confirmed Labrie crediting Paul Beaulieu choirmaster and organist for 31 years for his efforts. A your choir Sang for the holy father in Rome and in notre Dame in Paris when we went on tour a few years the priest said Labrie who is retired puts in As Many hours at the Church As he did when he was working asked Why he does it Labrie laughed. A at first i was saddled with the Job but now i do it because i like it and it keeps me out of in a More serious vein Labrie said he like so Many other parishioners Felt a need a to do Good for his Church. A a. This is a Parish that runs with team stall photo by Kathy Seward Mackay father Raymond Laferriere of Saint Louis de Gonzague prepares for communion during a weekday mass. The service was conducted in French. 1906, purchased land on Kinsley Street Tor St Joseph Hospital. The Hospital was dedicated in 1908 and at father Milette s invitation the Grey nuns of Montreal came to administer and staff it a memorial to monsignor Milette is located on the West Side of the Church on the East Side is the Bell Tower from the original Church that was destroyed by fire july 20, 1976 although fire ravaged the Interior of the original Church and destroyed the $250,000 Organ the Walls with their stained Glass windows were left standing Quot we were fortunate the stained Glass windows which Weie made in Europe were salvaged a said Laferrierre a this Way the people although surrounded by newness and modernity Are also surrounded by the traditions of the past a the bulletin Board on the new modern St Louis de Gonzague Church also reflects the traditions of

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