Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Update: Wrecking Starts at Yugoslav Hall

Update: Demolition nearly complete. New photos (7:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 20) near the end of this post.

Demolition equipment in the background hints at the imminent demise of the Heritage Benevolent and Pleasure Club building at 5540 South Narragansett.

Wrecking work started yesterday with the leveling of the southernmost addition to the building.

Known by many locally as Yugoslav Hall (and before that, Jugoslav Hall), the building has a long and colorful history going back many decades. It was the site of countless cradle-to-grave family events, from baby showers to funeral luncheons and everything in between.

It was also the site of many public meetings of civic groups, PTAs, Boy and Girl Scouts, and much more. Political rallies were held there, as were church services. The hall was also the scene of a 1978 bomb scare.

In July of 2012, the property's zoning was changed from B3-1 (business) to RS-3 (residential single-unit, detached house), in anticipation of Andrzej Slodyczka (of A & SL Construction of 5611 South Nashville) building seven single-family homes on the site.


Photos below taken at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 20.

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  1. Awww bye bye Heritage :(

  2. Sharon Lonski BarrettMarch 15, 2013 at 7:44 PM

    MY husband Jim and I were married in the picnic grove in 2003. Ray and Johnny gave us the grove and both the halls for the entire day, grilled the BEST hot dogs we ever ate for lunch and brought out giant barbeque grills and grilled unbelievable steaks for our entire party for dinner. We can't believe how many people still tell us it was the best wedding they ever went to. I can't tell you how many family parties, fundraisers and meetings we've been to at Heritage but we had a GREAT time EVERY TIME. I also have to mention all the times the guys donated food to the parishes in the neighborhood. I honestly don't know of ANY other restaurant or caterer in the neighborhood who was as generous as the Drish boys. Thanks Ray and Johnny for your Kindness, generosity and friendship to Clearing/Garfield Ridge. You are and will be missed.
    Sharon Lonski Barrett

  3. Like we need anymore houses in the neighborhood that people cant afford.

  4. There isn't enough room for seven houses in that space. As if anyone wants to live across the street from a firehouse and Kennedy High School with all of its "honor roll students" just turning their lives around.

    These houses will be filled with renters who have no vested interest in stabilizing the neighborhood, or sit vacant like so many other new construction houses in Garfield - which are eye-sores all summer with their unkempt landscaping.

  5. Don't knock my high school alma mater!

  6. I'll always remember sitting on our front porch, listening to the music coming from the hall and smelling the food! Also remember someone taking a leak in front of someone's car when they left!

  7. I don't know when you graduated, but your alma mater is a slum full of bussed-in thugs now who don't care about the neighborhood because it isn't theirs. And the houses built across from it will be filled by multiple family renters for which they weren't designed. What a poor use of land. If only they could knock down the dive fast food building next to it too, that has sat empty more than it has been occupied.

  8. It was the last place in the area for picnic type parties. We have many memories from wedding to 60th wedding anniversary. May "she" rest in peace. Thanks Yugoslav Hall/Heritage manor for the memories.

  9. slodycka built a couple of house on my block. one sold and he had to rent the other one out. brought nothing but scumbags in to live there. eventually the house got foreclosed on and was abandoned for a couple years. the bank eventually sold it. we'll see how long the current residents stay there.