Patti Duffy Poirier – Ancestry Work

Frank Moll and New City Iron Work


Grandfather Frank Moll was born in Torontal-Megye, Hungary in 1889 and arrived in Chicago in 1906. He traveled on a cattle boat because he couldn’t afford anything better. He was a blacksmith in Hungary and is on the far left, bottom row. He started a small-fabricated steel business with the help of his father in law. His company built many buildings, and I have the collection of pictures from that time. I have receipts from 1910 for the purchase of steel shipped to New City 4857 S. Racine Ave. They moved to 5401 S. Claremont in 1926.


Some of them might be of interest, and I’m sharing those for anyone who might be interested.

The Evergreen Park Plaza was well known to us when we were growing up. I never knew that he built it until I saw these photos. These photos are from 1952. The Sign on the front is New City Iron Works.

These photos were a surprise, especially when I always went to their house at 104th and Oakley. It was blocks away, but I never knew this glaring fact.


He also built Little Flower Church. I went to school there from 1st to 4th grade when the Msgr. Changed the boundaries, and I was across the street from those boundaries. That’s when I started at St Ethelreda’s in 5th grade. I made my first Holy Communion at Little Flower, and it was under construction. This picture was from 1950, but I have some from 1952 after my 1st Communion, when it was almost finished. I never knew New City built the church, until I saw these photos from New City. I thought they just made the doors. They were very elaborate, and I never heard anything at all about the whole church.

The Loretta Chapel at St Mary’s of Notre Dame was built in1955. I drove to take current photos last year when I visited Diane Witt O’Connell in Hobart. I was very excited to see this, 63 years later. I asked a student to help me locate the chapel. She said, “It’s beautiful”. I agree with her. It’s amazing to see.

The Argonne Bubble Chamber was built in 1962. I plan to visit that and explore. I’ve never been there.


This is St Peter and Paul in Naperville, under construction in 1926, because that car is a 1926 Cadillac. It’s dramatic to see the steel and brick together. I took this when my Aunt’s belongings were being distributed to her 5 nieces after her death. I am one of them, and I chose this. My mother said it was lying on the floor at New City for years with all the original cardboard mounting. I had the framer keep that intact when I had it framed.  When Jerry Donohue arranged to have the Ancestry event,  “Jump into Ancestry”, at my house, the presenter said she was married in that church. That made me very happy. I have visited there many times, and I’ll have to take pictures to work through this family project.


There are many more, and I think my retirement will have several avenues to stroll.




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