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Rededication ceremony for Paul’s Newsstand is April 30

Submitted by on 1, April 19, 2011 – 12:03 amNo Comment

For more than 70 years, Paul’s Newsstand has offered news of the world from the corner of Park Street and Santa Clara Avenue. Now the Alameda institution is getting a face lift, which boosters will show off at a rededication ceremony on April 30. The event begins at 4 p.m.

City Councilwoman Lena Tam will unveil a plaque detailing the history of the newsstand, and the event will include music from Jim Franz and an appearance from an antique fire truck. Light refreshments will follow at the Alameda Museum, 2324 Alameda Avenue.

The project got underway last fall, when Jack Lubeck helped clean out a family home on San Antonio Avenue and discovered photographs and newspaper clippings that told the story of Joseph M. Roschitsch, Lubeck’s grandfather. When Lubeck asked his uncle, Fred Roschitsch, for more information, he learned the story of “Newsboy Joe.”

Lubeck’s grandfather sold newspapers at the corner of Park and Santa Clara until 1939, when he died of heat prostration at the age of 28 after working through a long September heat spell. Lubeck wanted to bring the story to the public’s attention, so he contacted the Alameda Museum.

The newsstand itself was built in December 1939, as a shelter for a wheelchair-bound Paul Manning, who took over the corner following Roschitsch’s departure. Bank of America Vice President John J. Mulvany headed a group of Park Street merchants who, with the city, contributed materials for the stand, which Mulvany – a regular customer of Manning’s – suggested after seeing Manning sell papers in the rain. Manning ran the stand until his death in July 1949, and members of his family operated it until the late 1980s.

The stand was nearly demolished in 2006 after years of neglect, but escaped the wrecking ball thanks to the dedication of a group of volunteers, the Park Street Business Association and the city. Former Marine Larry Trippy occupied it then, earning the moniker “The Prince of Park Street” for his easy demeanor and willing smile and selling newspapers there until his death in February 2010.

Roschitsch’s family, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Alameda Museum and the Alameda Architectural Preservation Society provided funding for the newsstand’s face lift, which includes new windows and fresh paint along with the plaque. Pursel Quality Paint donated paint to the project, and former City Councilman Anthony “L’il” Arnerich will correct the date on the structure to read 1939, instead of 1937.

Lubeck and his cousin, Richard Davis, are repainting the newsstand with the help of Alameda Museum president Robbie Dileo, and Roschitsch’s youngest brother will attend the ceremony. Carpenter Tom Wolter will install the new windows, including a new side window donated by Bill Essert of Wooden Window in Oakland. Valerie Turpen designed the plaque, which was created by Gil Garitano of Artistic Collectibles.

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