BY Clem Richardson
Iris Bertoni has known 552 Academy St. in Inwood since she was a child growing up in a building across the street.
“It was a beautiful building, comfortable and safe,” she recalled. “The owner was South African. He had relatives living in the building. He lived on Webster Ave. in the Bronx.”
So the first opportunity Bertoni had she moved into 552 Academy, and found it to be everything she imagined.
“There were rugs on the floor in the lobby,” she said. “There were couches and big chairs, tables with lamps on them, and magazines. If you came to see someone and they were not home if you wanted to you could sit and read a magazine until they came home.”
Bertoni and her husband, Charles, a dental mechanic and part-time bartender at a relative’s place out in Greenport, L.I., raised daughters Jeannette and Michele in 552.
She worked as a school teacher at Public School 152 in Inwood/Washington Heights, went to St. Judes Catholic Church on 204th St. and, made the community a home. So much so that she stayed on in the two-bedroom apartment after her husband died some 30 years ago.