Petition calls for renaming historic home after developer

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In an effort to keep the memory of a historic Spuyten-Duyvil home that is set to be torn down, residents are petitioning to have the name of the developer put up nearby.

The woman who started the petition, Stephanie Coggins, tells News 12 that John J. McKelvey Sr. was one of the primary developers of modern Spuyten Duyvil.

Coggins says McKelvey built a seven-family home in 1924 in response to what he called "the city ugly moment," when tenements were being built all over the city and especially the Bronx.

The house he built was called Villa Rosa Bonhuer and in order to memorialize it, the petition asks to name the landing at the top of the stairs after the home.

The petition also asks to co-name the stairwell after McKelvey.

Coggins nomination submission has to go through different channels before it reaches the City Council, but one reason she's pushing to get it done is for McKelvey's son - John McKelvey Jr.

"He's 102 years old and this is very important to him, and I want to do this for him and I want to do this for their family," Coggins said. "At 102, I would like to at least get it moving towards the New York City Council so that he can see it in his lifetime."

Coggins says the problem is that there are only two votes a year in the City Council for street name changes, so she hopes this gets done as fast as possible. 

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