It may not look like it but Italian real estate developer Antonio “Nino” Vendome is more than just a property developer.
Known for his Urban Glass House collaboration with distinguished architect Philip Johnson, the chairman of the Vendome Group LLC has been doing admirable humanitarian work as he ordered his restaurant to provide free meals and drinks to the relief workers of the disastrous 9/11 attacks.
Nino’s 9/11 Fund
Vendome also decided to discontinue his efforts on getting a go signal from the Community Board to build a Habitable Sculpture as he shifted his full attention to the Nino's 9/11 Fund, which is an association that is primarily made up of private sector groups that have the desire to help the relief workers of heinous catastrophe.
“Nino's generosity of spirit to the 9/11 responders was epic. As a curator and oral historian, I was honored to visit his restaurant on Canal Street and see his humanitarian endeavor in action. It is fitting that evidence of his compassion and contributions to American life at that difficult time have been preserved at so many museums,” said Amy Weinstein, Vice President of Collections and Oral History at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
Additionally, Vendome donated all of his resources to the Nino's 9/11 Fund before leading the Trinity Church in organizing the “commando cooking operation” that enabled the relief workers to eat unlimited meals.
“Nino’s free meals for relief workers, providing nourishment for the body as well as the soul, demonstrated the tremendous generosity of spirit and an inspiration to those around him. The New-York Historical Society is honored to preserve many items from Nino’s Restaurant that document an extraordinary time and offer an uplifting story in the face of tragedy,” said Margaret K. Hofer who is the Vice President and Museum Director of the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library.
His Works Acknowledged and Praised
The move also earned praises from the Smithsonian Museum, National 9/11 Museum and from Italian American Museum founder and President, Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa.
“When his beloved adopted city of New York was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, his heart and body sprang into action opening his restaurant 24 hours a day to feed the 9/11 responders around the clock at great personal expense. This is real love for one's fellow man and I for one am proud to know him and call him a friend,” Scelsa said.
As he looks forward in the future, Vendome who earlier received the green light from the Community Board hopes to continue helping people with the Habitable Sculpture which is a 300-foot building that flaunts the beauty of fine art.