Bensonhurst corner co-named for Italian-American immigrant
A Bensonhurst street just got a new name.
More than 200 people, including Councilmember Vincent Gentile and state Sen. Marty Golden, gathered on the corner of 15th Avenue and Bay Ridge Parkway for the street-renaming ceremony that honored beloved community civic leader Alberto Ingravallo. The new sign now reads “Alberto Ingravallo Way.”
The Italian-American immigrant is best remembered for his immigrant activism and dedication to helping others achieve the American dream.
Gentile spoke of Ingravallo’s immigrant roots. “Al loved everything Italian. His love for Italian culture was always on display as he often promoted cultural events with his own funding. He always sought to share his personal immigrant experience and inspire future generations with these activities,” he said.
Ingravallo also had a deep love for automobiles and helped teach younger generations about the importance of Italian culture through his civic work.
After emigrating from Italy in 1956, he enrolled in Automotive High School at 50 Bedford Ave., became a mechanic and eventually, the manager of a large Brooklyn auto mechanic shop.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during the Vietnam crisis until he was honorably discharged in 1971. Upon his return, he continued his studies and became a high school teacher at Automotive High School, where he taught for more than 20 years. Ingravallo died in 2012.
“Whether it was to pick up a wrench to get a neighbor’s old Ferrari humming again, or to allow fellow Brooklynites — many being immigrants themselves — to finally own their own home and achieve the American dream for themselves, or to teach the youth of Brooklyn the beauty of soccer and its cultural significance or to share the beauty and richness of Italian music and art, Alberto Ingravallo was a man of character, charm and personality and one who loved his heritage but was committed to America and to the potential of its immigrant communities,” Gentile said.
“Everyone that knew him would say of Al that he was always one to get his hands and clothes a little dirty to help someone out,” said Gentile.
Also in attendance were Former Fire Commissioner Joseph Bruno, Assemblymember Peter Abbate, Ingravallo’s wife Tina and his daughter Cathy. Msgr. Jamie J. Gigantiello, pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, delivered the invocation.
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