Water Street was where it all began for Brianna Mercadante, who now lives with her husband, Joe Ginty, and the couple’s twin sons, John Paul and Giuseppe. Born at the valley’s historic St. Rose Dominican Hospital, which is now a medical facility and located on the north end of Water Street, Mercadante grew up in the “triangle” – the area east of the BMI plants Burkholder and Center Street intersect.
She and her mother, Sabrina Mercadante, who recently retired from her longtime position as City Clerk for the City of Henderson, attended Gordon McCaw Elementary, where they served as student tour guides at McCaw’s “School of Mines.” They shared the same third-grade teacher, and Water Street was their stomping grounds. Her grandfather, who walked to work every day to the nearby TIMET plant, once owned a home on Brown Street where Mercadante lived as a child.
Mercadante spent her teen and early adult years in the Green Valley area of Henderson, but when the opportunity presented itself to move back to the area she considered ‘home,” she and Ginty jumped at the chance.
The couple is the proud owner of a Basic Townsite home, one of the hundreds of historic homes built by the US government during World Word II to house workers at the nearby plant whose work manufacturing magnesium was critical for bomb-making and airplane parts. Mercadante and Ginty are representative of a growing number of young families who are returning to the area to lovingly care for these historic homes.
“Best of all, we are within walking distance of Water Street,” said Mercadante. “Every Saturday and Sunday like clockwork, we walk to Public Works Coffee Bar where they know our names and our order. We are big fans of Fratelli’s, Straight from Philly, and our son John Paul is obsessed with Juan’s Flaming Fajitas. He considers it “his” restaurant!”
The family participates in most of the events on Water Street, like the Farmers Market, car shows, art shows, and more. “We love nothing more than walking with the kids up and down Water Street to take it all in,” said Ginty, who grew up on the valley’s west side. “The small-town feel on Water Street is perfect for our little family. At the same time, all the new restaurants and bars are adding new energy. We love that everything is walkable.”
Mercadante, whose life has come full circle, says she feels most at home here – the place that has also been home to three generations of her family. “Water Street has a very special place in my heart, and I am thrilled to raise my kids here.”