CITY DEMOLISHED OCEAN VIEW RESTAURANT
The City Council has agreed to buy and demolish an Ocean View institution, Mama's Italian Kitchen, a restaurant that opened 50 years ago, to expand Ocean View Beach Park and boardwalk. The council appropriated $630,000 to pay for the half-acre property at 180-182 W. Ocean View Ave. and authorized condemnation of the empty restaurant if the sale cannot be negotiated. There is no design yet for the beachfront park expansion, which is expected to be a multi-year effort."
180-182 West Ocean View was home of the Southern Bank of Norfolk, Ocean View Branch which moved into the building in 1940. Remember Mama's old location next door? The bank chartered in 1932 with Southern Savings & Finance founded in 1917; headquartered in the former Virginia National Bank building (corner of Granby & Main).
Offices upstairs were also home to Dr. Burcher who practiced dentistry upstairs; later MD/DDS Rodriquez, still later DDS John Lapetina. Remember the Lapetinas? In the mid 1920's waterfront residents in the 1000 block of East Ocean View petitioned Norfolk County for a series of jetties and were denied. So they residents did it themselves: "$1,500 each from Mr. Lapetina, Mr. Clark, Dr. Leigh, Mr. Salomonski and Mr. Dauber" --We can only guess $ value of the 1920's, today.
<= Click! Prior to at least 1957, we've learned the original Mama's building was the Boat House Soda Bar. Josephine Loiercio's family purchased the site, moving from their old Mama's Kitchen (sandwiched between Tucker's & the Bank) next door into the Southern Bank building, in the late 60s. In later years and despite declining health, Ms. Loiercio was not interested in the many offers. We are still researching prior history (Tom Hall says prior to the bank, there was the Woodhouse Cottage in that location. Learn more about the family from Angela Loirecio Cooper (see the latest entry, page top-- at Tour 6)..
In the 1970's the Norfolk City Council appropriated $1.5 million in revenue sharing funds for the acquisition and demolition of areas around First View and WOV for construction of our present day shopping center. By 1975 most parcels of land had been purchased and groundbreaking took place in 1977, with completion in 1979. The Ocean View Amusement Park site was purchased and it took three separate explosions to blow up the roller coaster. Petitions were signed for a citywide election to block NRHA and the change of zoning required to erect upscale housing at the old park site; the city had already refused to act on a petition bearing signatures of more than 2,000 voters; had they advance notice of the plan, there would have been at least, double that.
The old Ocean View Pier 1980-- there were plans to rebuild after a storm tore away 700 feet back in 1977, because the City had acquired the pier and surrounding area. Eventually the pier was demolished, despite numerous signatures/petitions to save it. We should have more time to examine changes in our neighborhood. Seems we should have more concern for the powerful few, than for hurricanes, fires and Mother Nature, in altering our beloved Ocean View. We should demolish hazardous ruins-- but not our cherished (and particularly in this case, sturdy) structures. We need more time for study. Today we find, people who once voiced opposition and organized petition drives are not apathetic. They find activism futile, from past experience. They feel powerless. We merely propose a study. 180-182 West Ocean View is an historic site.
<== Click wallpaper icon if you'd like to have "desktop Mamma's"
--We caught the 10/9/01 City Council meeting: When a speaker referred to Ocean View as Norfolk's "Cash Cow" and Randy Wright & others (including Fraim) reacted with embarrassed chuckles. Save the last worthy OV landmark, for public use.
It'd improve park facilities more than netting a 'few parking spaces & patch of grass'.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT! Write firstname.lastname@example.org and tell 'em to SAVE 180-182 WOV!
Many folks were also upset about the razing of the Zoo Conservatory early Summer 2001-- probably Norfolk's most 'Gatsby' yet historically exotic spot. There was no word about it to the public. Zoo staffers argued that it wasn't built to last. It was here nearly a century and they just figured that out. Our past is not worthy of honoring, it seems. Beloved places are being bulldozed at such a pace, it's now you see it, now you don't. If you're fortunate enough to be forewarned, write 'em. --R K
There are now plans to replace the Greenhouse in a similar style, to be completed Summer 2003! If you wrote, sincere thanks from all "True Viewers" & OV Tourists!
Read emails of OV memories, at Nickel Tour 6
What happened to NYC, Penn Station? --importantly, our own Terminal?
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