Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cornell Edwards, 1932-2011

Several readers have told us the sad news that Cornell Edwards, who opened The Flower Stall at 143 E. 13th St. in 1967, has passed away. We don't have many details at this time.


[Top photos via EV Grieve reader Ann]

According to a short profile on Edwards in City Snapshots from 2008:

After graduating with a degree in English from NYU in 1954, Edwards had trouble finding employment in the city. Not deterred from his dream of coming to New York and never looking back, Edwards eventually put an old knowledge to good use. Growing up in Norfolk, Virginia with a mother who sold annuals, Edwards was well versed in the world of plant life.

Services will beheld Sunday afternoon at Mother A.M.E. Zion Church, 140-146 W. 137th St. The viewing is at 2, and the service starts at 3.


[Photo by John Galayda via One Horse Town. Reposted with permission]

19 comments:

Mykola ( Mick) Dementiuk said...

I remember him from the 1970s always arranging his flowers on the stalls outside. He did that in the 80s and 90s and always just sitting and reading his paper. I'd nod to him, he'd nod back...and life went on. He certainly was a fixture of 13th Street.

Anonymous said...

Cornell, you were a beautiful man, and thank you for bringing beauty to 13th Street. RIP.

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

Such a nice man, such a nice place he ran, an oasis of calm. He'll be missed.

Anonymous said...

I love that his shop's address is/was 143. My grandmother had told me that meant I Love You.
(I=1 Love=4, You=3. If you aren't using text speak that is.)

Anonymous said...

This makes me so sad. I loved his shop and he was so nice..I liked just knowing he was there in business. He was what neighborhoods should be about. RIP

jimandkarla murray said...

R.I.P.

T.E.V.B. said...

R.I.P.

blue glass said...

cornell was an active community member, a member of CB#3 in the 60's-70's when the neighborhood was filled with problems.
he was a big part of the effort to prevent the up-zoning of third avenue (thr city wanted a corridor from wall street to westchester).
i seemed like the entire neighborhood would stop - one or two at the time - to talk local politics or atiques with him. some of us would even buy plants from him.
he will be missed.
his partner for all the years was bill curry.

Melanie said...

RIP.

Marty Wombacher said...

"Not deterred from his dream of coming to New York and never looking back, Edwards eventually put an old knowledge to good use."

Inspiring words. R.I.P. Cornell Edwards. So sorry I never got the chance to meet you.

Anonymous said...

Ah. I overheard this. I heard he was making some kind of pick-up and had a heart attack. I loved walking by that shop.

RIP

Joelle said...

I learned so much from Cornell about plants, beginning from the first time I accompanied my friend Marcia Caro to his shop ... probably 1971 ... it was such a sanctuary of beauty and serenity in a neighborhood that was becoming violent and chaotic. Thank you, Cornell, for all you did for and gave to the community and those of us who lived there. We will not forget you.

Diehardyuppiescum said...

Thank you for brightening up 13th street w/your plants and flowers you would place by the sidewalk curb...always reminded me of Spring...RIP

Ann said...

really lovely Southern gentleman, sad to hear of his passing

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend and I bought all our plants from him. He was a very sweet and gentle man. I'm very sad to hear about his passing.

Carol said...

through beautiful you, our small world found its zen

for gentle you, our village aches

because of you, our nature springs forth with the brilliant, blossoming buds of your planting.

editrrix said...

Lovely photo of what sounds like a lovely man too soon gone. RIP.

Ringo, have a banana! said...

I was so, so heart broken when I passed by the shop today to find that he had gone. I wish I had discovered this beautiful little place years ago, and I wish I had taken the time to talk to Mr. Johnson while I had the chance. I know I'll always cherish the little cactus I bought from him, it is my very favorite. Thank you so much Mr. Johnson! I will always remember you and your beautiful plants.

Anonymous said...

A very special neighbor. Indeed, he was the neighborhood.

I'll miss his wisdom, his kindness, and especially, his friendship. And so will so many, many others.

God speed, dear friend.

Susan Johnson