Dan Icolari, Ardent Preservationist, dies at 75
DANIEL LEONARD ICOLARI December 13, 1942 - January 6, 2018
St. George resident and community steward Dan Icolari, died unexpectedly on Saturday January 6, 2018, following a recent cancer diagnosis. Dan was a native New Yorker, whose presence dominated any room he entered. His warmth, incredible intellect, keenly held principles, sharp wit, generosity and caring made him a force that never went unnoticed. He loved music of all kinds, especially jazz. He liked to dance and when the beat was right, you might have caught his feet shu ing and body swaying. He was a gifted writer who worked successfully in corporate communications during the Madison Avenue “Mad Men” era. Despite his fruitful and fulling professional life, his true passion was always at home.
When he and his family moved to St. George forty years ago, Dan saw unrealized potential in the community. He worked with neighbors and community groups to create a vision that extended beyond the ferry terminal to the people who live and work in the “forgotten borough,” a term he originated while working on communications for a local bank. As a result of his tireless work, Dan was dubbed “Mayor of St George”, part community promoter, organizer and real estate consultant. He dragged people home from his office in Manhattan and any other place he could find likely candidates.
On weekends, he would meet prospects at the ferry, serve them refreshments and take them on tours through his home and those of consenting neighbors. He led them with flashlights through cheap, still-vital boarded-up Victorian houses. He helped prospects connect with real estate brokers and financing. In his first five years living on Staten Island Dan voluntarily facilitated the sale of more than 40 north shore homes to owner occupants. Those forays on foot through the neighborhood led to the creation of his blog, “Walking Is Transportation” (www. danicolari.com). He was a supporter of local Artists and Arts organizations and a founding member of the St. George Civic Association; The Preservation League of Staten Island; The St. George Food Co-op and The St. George Minyan. He served on Community Board 1, and headed the St. George Historic District Council. He was a member of Memoirs OutLOUD, preparing to publish his first book of poetry. The book will be available later this year on his website.
Whatever he did and wherever he went, Dan never missed an opportunity to support and promote Staten Island’s north shore, St. George and the people whose work and talents contribute to improving the quality of life. Dan is survived by his wife Ellen, sons Evan and Garth; daughter-in-law, Letty, grandchildren Jacob, Rachel, and Sophia; and cousin, Debra Grossman. His many friends and grateful community members will miss him.