Cornell EdwardsAs you enter Genesis Robert F. Kennedy Apartments at 113 East 13th Street, you’ll notice a bronze plaque recognizing the efforts of those who helped bring the building to fruition in the early 1990s – including a gentleman by the name of Cornell Edwards.

The Flower Stall (cropped)Cornell owned and operated The Flower Stall on 13th Street for over 40 years, and always served as a strong steward of the neighborhood. When the opportunity arose to build affordable housing for New Yorkers in Union Square, Cornell supported HELP USA– despite knowing he would lose some local customers who opposed the project.

“Cornell was courageous and bold in his support of Genesis Apartments,” said Marc Altheim, then a Senior Vice President at HELP and now a member of the board. “As a fixture on East 13th Street he constantly had to weather neighbors who carried the NIMBY banner. He did not buckle under their pressure. Cornell was thoughtful, smart and a catalyst for the success of the project.”

 

Fittingly, this stretch of East 13th Street is now officially known as “Cornell Edwards Way.” His steadfast support helped make Genesis RFK Apartments possible – as does the support of so many community members like Cornell who help us continue to build better lives in New York and nationwide.