This Week in Rockland: Newspaper Excerpts: Flashback Friday: Week of September 15

2023-09-15 TWIR Image-Icarus

September 13, 1873 – 150 YEARS AGO
Rockland County Journal

    The jury to assess the valuation of property to be taken for the widening of Broadway will meet at the rooms of the Village Trustees, on the 17th inst.
    On Wednesday (Anniversary of Perry’s victory on Lake Erie) “Johnny” brought out his flags at Sparkill, and gave them to the breeze of the early morning.
    The services connected with the laying at the corner stone of the new M.E. Church, will take place in the church on the 21st and on the ground on the 22d inst.
    Calvin Tomkins, Tomkins’ Cove, is erecting a school building 60x90 feet, to be donated when furnished, to the District. The country needs more than one Calvin Tomkins.
    Important changes are taking place at Rockland Lake. The Boulevard is rapidly progressing, and every one is talking about the railroad. The real estate market is quite brisk.
    A handsome flag staff has been erected on the property bought of the heirs of Albert C. Bogert. by Wm, Devoe, and the tasteful improvements upon the house are neatly completed.

September 15, 1923 100 YEARS AGO
Nyack Evening Journal

             Five hundred or more people formed in a crowd on South Broadway last night and listened to the Dempsey-Firpo fight through the radio of B. A. Saunders at his Tire Service Station. The crowd was so large that it blocked traffic on South Broadway for a short time.
             Mr. Saunders had a ten bulb radio in service, part of which be built himself. It is a more powerful machine than he has ever had in service here before and the speech and power amplifiers and rectifier made for unusual clarity.
             The report of the fight was heard for considerable full distance and by a large number of people setting in their automobiles far from the crowd.
             The radio sets at E. W. Phillips Williard service station, Nyack Boat Club, and Faust’s cigar store entertained a great many people also. Among the hundreds of private sets in the vicinity, none as clear than the wonderful receiving outfit at the Kessler home on Castle Heights Avenue, where a number of friends of the Kessler’s heard the report of the fight very plainly.

September 16, 1973 50 YEARS AGO
The Journal News

[Image: Alexander Liberman’s ‘Icarus’ is unexpected sight at Haverstraw factory. Photograph by Warren Inglese.]
             Perched above the Louis Hornick curtain factory in Haverstraw, ready to take off on its mythical flight toward the sun through the steam billowing from the stacks at Orange and Rockland’s Bowline plant, stands “Icarus,” an enormous abstract steel sculpture.
             The 22-ton, 40-foot high structure is the second piece in a unique industrial sculpture garden planted above the curtain factory by the company president, Morton Hornick, an aggressive industrialist who collects art.
             Hornick thinks his sculptures are the first attempt in Rockland to beautify an otherwise drab industrial site.
             He hopes the art will lift the spirits of his 300 employees and of villagers and others passing by.
             Installed last month by a 200-foot crane operated by six riggers, “Icarus” will be dedicated in the near future at a noontime lunch break ceremony to which workers and town and village officials have been invited, Hornick said.
             Some work on the landscaping around the sculpture’s base is still to be done, but apparently the work, which dominates the prospect from the hillside above the factory area, has already had an effect.
             “I have had nothing but positive vibes from everybody connected with the Village and Town of Haverstraw, and my employees are very proud of it,” Hornick said.
             “The sculpture is for my employees, not for me.”
             “I think my workers appreciate the sculpture as much as I do,” the industrialist continued, noting that his plant, located in Haverstraw since 1947, is the largest employer in the village. The employees are continually asking questions, he said. “They sometimes think they should know more about it than they do.”
             “Icarus” was conceived by Alexander Liberman, a well-known sculptor who is also editorial director of Conde Nast Publications in New York City.
             Liberman’s work is shown throughout the country. A 35-foot piece stands at the entrance to the University of Hawaii, he said, and the Storm King Museum also has a piece. But this is the artist’s first work for an industrial site.
             The first step in the fabrication, Liberman said, was a full-sized “mock-up,” which he made of light steel, with structural props, in his studio in Warren, Conn. Then a reduced model was made. The final sculpture was built not by Liberman but by an “executioner,” Milgo Art Systems of Brooklyn.
             According to Mac Gitlin of Milgo, “Icarus” cost $25,000 to build. The other sculpture in Hornick’s garden, “Homage to Brancusi,” by Anthony Milkawski, was built and installed by the Milgo firm 2½ years ago. Gitlin said that cost $9,000. In both cases, the ‘executioner’ noted, Hornick probably paid the sculptor more than the fabricating price.
             Neither Hornick nor Liberman would divulge the final cost of “Icarus.”
             The sculptor seemed as pleased as the entrepreneur with the idea of the art-adorned factory.
             “I hope the sculpture will give a sense of soaring, of spiritual and visual uplift.”
             “Factories have always been sort of the step-children of architecture,” Lieberman said, in spite of the important part they play in modern life.
             He sees factory art as a “very exiting major development which may force people to review the environment. It may even bring down the poles and wires.”
             The artist referred to the myth on which his titanic red sculpture is based. As the story goes, Icarus and his father, Daedalus, built wings of wax to enable them to fly out of a roofless prison in ancient Crete. When the two men got aloft, the son, drunk on the newfound sprit of flight, headed toward the sun. But his wax wings melted, and he plummeted into the sea.
             “I hope the sculpture will give a sense of soaring, of spiritual and visual uplift like the winged mythical figure,” the sculptor commented. “Although he had troubles, still the dream was there.”
             “It may just bring a sense of amusement and relief,” he added.

This Week in Rockland (#FBF Flashback Friday) is prepared by Clare Sheridan on behalf of the Historical Society of Rockland County. © 2023 by The Historical Society of Rockland County. #FBF Flashback Friday may be reprinted only with written permission from the HSRC. To learn about the HSRC’s mission, upcoming events or programs, visit or call (845) 634-9629.


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