With the dedication of John Muller Way on Tuesday morning, the city continued a tradition of celebrating long time citizens and businesses by renaming street corners after distinguished members of the Hoboken community.
But how do these signs come to fruition, and what’s the meaning of all of them?
The Hoboken Historical Museum is in the preliminary stages of launching a new “guide by cell program” to give residents an easy way to identify questions like who is John Muller or Bobby the Peddler.
The City Clerk’s office was able to identify a total of 12 street corners.
The “guide by cell” program is currently used in the Hoboken Historical Museum, located on 13th and Hudson streets.
Visitors can give themselves a tour of the museum using their cell phones in some exhibits.
Foster said the museum hopes to work on the new street sign program this summer, and hopefully have the system up and running by the end of 2011.
So, how do people get recognized?
Councilman Peter Cunningham, who sponsored the resolution to recently re-name the corner of 10th and Washington streets “John Muller Way,” said there really is no formal process. The names of the corners have mostly been proposed by a council resolution or a city proclamation.
“I do think there should be a policy in place,” Cunningham said last week. “At the very least, there should be loose guidelines that are established.”
Cunningham said businesses “withstanding the test of time” like the Muller family’s insurance company are “certainly a criteria I would look toward.”
The renaming of the corner was no small occasion, as this week Councilman Ravinder Bhalla, Council President Beth Mason, Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Cunningham, and Freeholder Anthony Romano all attended the event.
Muller Insurance has been in Hoboken for the past 105 years, through three generations of family members.
“Renaming a street is a permanent thing,” Cunningham said. “It stands to recognize some considerable contribution that a family or an individual has contributed to Hoboken.”
Mayor Dawn Zimmer said the re-naming of streets is “a great tradition to recognize businesses and families that have been important to Hoboken.”
Zimmer said she hopes to work to make it easier for residents to understand who the people are that are recognized on the street signs.
Other street corners
Councilwoman Theresa Castellano helped re-name the corner of Newark and Washington streets “Carlo’s Bakery Way” last June.
Castellano said she’s proud to help recognize citizens and businesses that have had a significant impact in Hoboken.
Though there is no official list held by the city of Hoboken of all the names of streets, City Clerk James Farina and his staff helped The Reporter compile a list of the signs throughout the city last week. The City Clerk’s office was able to identify a total of 12 street corners.
Vezzetti Way is on Observer Highway, and it honors Mayor Thomas Vezzetti, who served from 1985 – 1988. Vezzetti died in 1988 while in office.
“Bobby the Peddler’s Corner” is at Seventh Street and Willow Avenue, and is named after Bobby Ferrante, who, like his father, is a former fruit peddler
Another famous street corner is 12th Street and Willow Avenue, re-named Dorothy Buoncuore’s Corner, after a crossing guard who worked on the corner for years.
Gustoso’s Bread is a former bread store that served Hoboken for more than 70 years. The corner of Fifth and Adams streets was renamed “Gustoso’s Bread Way” in August.
In December, Councilman Nino Giacchi and Mayor Dawn Zimmer renamed the corner of Seventh and Garden streets “Giovanni D’Italia Cobbler’s Corner” honoring a shoemaker Vinchenzo Perrupato and his father Giovanni, who owns the famous shoe repair store and has been doing business in Hoboken for 50 years.
The corner of Seventh and Madison streets was named “Aggie’s Way” in 2009 in recognition of the service of Agnes Forino, a crossing guard for 43 years.
Biggie’s Way on 4th and Madison streets is named after the famous restaurant Biggie’s near the corner.
Amato’s Way on 1st and Adams was renamed last February after former Councilman Andrew Amato, who passed away last year.
Perry’s Way is on 9th and Bloomfield streets, and is named after community activist Bill Perry. Louis DePascale, a former mayor, was honored by renaming Constitution Court.
Former Hoboken Mayor Bernard McFeely and Walter Barry, a founder of Applied Housing, also have roads named after them near the uptown Shipyard development.
So as another sign goes up, more history is made in Hoboken, with John Muller Way becoming the latest sign to grace the city’s corners.
Ray Smith may be reached at RSmith@hudsonreporter.com