Volume 23, Number 4 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | June 4 - 10, 2010
Downtown Express photos by Joseph M. Calisi
Honoring the Father of the NYC’s Italian American Community
Pietro Cesare Alberti (1608-1655) is not a name most people would immediately recognize. However, he was honored on Wednesday at Bowling Green Park in commemoration of his settling in Dutch Nieuw Amsterdam on June 2, 1635. Alberti was the first Italian to begin living in what is now known as Battery Park City. He later owned a plantation in Brownsville, Brooklyn and grew the first tobacco farm in the Dutch colony at the now decommissioned Lady of Loreto Church in Brooklyn. Alberti has since been recognized as the “Father of the Italian American community” in New York City.
The noon ceremony was marked with a speech by Italian Consul General Francesco Talo that emphasized the importance of the event. Italian Americans comprise one of the largest minority groups in the city today. The speech was immediately followed by the Italian flag raising next to the American flag followed by the singing of both national anthems by the musical performing group Tre Bella. Afterwards, at the marker on the spot where Albert first landed in Bowling Green Park three hundred and seventy-five years ago, a photo-op was held.
The sponsors of the 375th anniversary included: The Bowling Green Association Italian Heritage and Culture Committee of New York, Inc; Italian Historical Society of America; John D. Calandra Italian American Institute; The Italian American Museum; The Committee to Save Our Lady of Loreto Church; and the Case Belvedere – Italian Cultural Foundation.