Volume 20, Number 42 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | March 2 - 8, 2011
Compoccia and Jurinko, gone but never forgotten
The Downtown community recently lost two of its iconic individuals, Anne Compoccia and Andy Jurinko.
Compoccia, a member of Community Board 1 and its chairperson from 1988 to 2000, was a tough-talking, devoutly Catholic, Little Italy native, whose many civic accomplishments were instrumental in turning Lower Manhattan into what it is today. And though she had her missteps, namely her embezzlement conviction while she was in charge of the Mulberry Street Mall, her legacy as a devoted fighter for the good of Lower Manhattan will live on and should stand as an example of how one person can truly make a difference.
Compoccia helped convince the city and state to build the Battery Park ball fields as well as P.S./I.S 89 in Battery Park City. And when she ran into a roadblock with the Battery Park City Authority, she was not deterred and went straight to then Governor Mario Cuomo to make sure the community’s needs were met. She was instrumental in bringing the public library to Murray Street. She spearheaded the “Greening of Greenwich” St. project. She helped to bring to life the Manhattan Youth Downtown Community Center.
As Lower Manhattan experiences a record growth in residential population, we cannot help but to credit Compoccia as having had a major hand in its transformation.
Compoccia embodied civic commitment and her devotion to local issues, willingness to lend a helping hand to those in need, and burning desire to foster social awareness is what we will remember.
The loss of Andy Jurinko earlier this month was another blow to the Downtown community. Jurinko’s legacy is not defined by community advocacy in the same way as Compoccia’s, but is a testament to steadfastness nonetheless.
When Jurinko and his wife, Pat Moore, were faced with the tragedy of 9/11 and the damage it did to their loft and offices at 125 Cedar Street, they decided to stay and rebuild. For nine months the two shoveled debris, determined to remain in their home and to remain as beacons in the post-9/11 rebirth.
Jurinko’s talent as a respected and renowned artist, in our opinion, is overshadowed by his determination to make sure Lower Manhattan and its legacy did not disappear after the terrorist attacks.
His creativity on the canvas was underscored by his love of this city, of his community and of his home. It was the Andy Jurinkos of our community that helped us come back to life.