Broadway-Flushing Homeowners’ Association honors late founding members with ‘Ferrigno Place’ street co-naming ceremony

The corner of 163rd Street and 33rd Avenue in Broadway-Flushing is now known as “Ferrigno Place” honoring residents Marjorie and Nicholas Ferrigno, the late founding members of the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners’ Association. (Photo courtesy of Maria Becce)

The Broadway-Flushing Homeowners’ Association honored late founding members, Marjorie and Nicholas Ferrigno, during a street co-naming ceremony held on May 21. 

Local elected officials, community leaders, friends and family of the Ferrignos joined the city Department of Transportation for the unveiling of “Ferrigno Place” on the corner of 163rd Street and 33rd Avenue in Broadway-Flushing

The street naming was initiated by former Councilman Paul Vallone in coordination with Community Board 7 and was approved by the City Council in December 2021. 

Photo courtesy of Maria Becce

Marjorie died at the age of 97 on Nov. 15, 2013. She was an educator who served as the founding chairperson of the drama department of Schools of Arts, which is now known as the Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Performing Arts. She was also the past president of the American Educational Theatre Association. Marjorie’s husband, Nicholas, died at the age of 88 on Aug. 27, 2010. He was a senior instructor for American Airlines at JFK and LaGuardia Airport and a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers. 

Marjorie and Nicholas Ferrigno. (Photo courtesy of Maria Becce)

The Ferrignos played an instrumental role in the success of a landmark court case to enforce the Rickert-Finlay Covenant of 1906, which eventually led to the rezoning of a portion of Northern Boulevard. The covenant is still relevant today in preserving the unique characteristics and suburban-like setting of the neighborhood. 

They were affectionately known as the “heart and soul” of the community, according to homeowner Maria Becce. 

“Marjorie and Nick were our mentors. They put in the work, and they taught and encouraged every elected official for the last 50 years who represented Broadway-Flushing,” Beece said. “Every time a new person was elected, Marjorie would reach out to them and say, ‘How can we help you to give us what we need?’” 

According to Beece, it was primarily through the Ferrignos’ efforts that Broadway-Flushing is listed on the National and New York State Register of Historic Places.

Although unsuccessful in designating Broadway-Flushing as a New York City landmark historic district, they never stopped trying to preserve their beloved neighborhood, and upon their passing, donated their home to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

In a video posted to the Flushing-Broadway Homeowners’ Association website, Marjorie said her dream would be to keep Broadway-Flushing as it is, forever. 

“We tried every way we could to solve the problems and work with organizations. I was always involved. We had a reputation among real estate brokers — ‘Oh, Broadway-Flushing people are crazy, don’t mess with them,’” Marjorie said. “We were a very stable neighborhood and we had a real community, where you could borrow a cup of sugar.” 

Chuck Apelian of CB 7, said that “Marge and Nick Ferrigno were the epitome of civic leaders and the perfect example of caring people who cared for their neighborhood.” 

Queens lawmakers such as State Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, Congresswoman Grace Meng and Councilwoman Vickie Paladino congratulated the Ferrigno family on the honor. 

“For over 50 years, Marjorie and Nick Ferrigno fully dedicated themselves to the betterment of the Flushing community,” Braunstein said. “As founding members of the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners’ Association and fierce defenders of the single-family neighborhood’s unique character, the ‘Ferrigno Place’ co-naming is much deserved.” 

Meng said that co-naming the corner of Ferrigno Place will be a “wonderful reminder of their dedication and service to the community, and it will help ensure that all they did for the community is not forgotten.” 

Paladino referred to Marjorie and Nicholas as “trailblazers” who worked tirelessly to preserve their neighborhood and the surrounding area. 

Senator John Liu said, “Ferrigno Place ensures the legacy of Marjorie and Nicholas Ferrigno lives on so future generations will always know the founders of the Broadway-Flushing Homeowners’ Association as champions of civic engagement and community preservation.”