Ned Newdick, one of the South End's 1960s real estate pioneers, died in a Providence nursing home on Wednesday. He was eighty-eight.
In 1970 Ned and his wife, Sally, who lived at 43 Upton Street, acquired two delapidated buildings, 574 to 580 Tremont Street, for just $74,000. With foresight, the Newdicks signed a lease with the soon-to-be "Calypso Cafe", which became the first restaurant on "Restaurant Row".
When the Newdicks bought the Tremont Street properties, a gypsy had been telling fortunes at the 574 Tremont St. street level store. Ned worked tirelessly by hand to restore his run-down properties, creating a stylish basement apartment with a rose garden from a rat-infested space backing up on Alley 701. Ned's skills as a landscape designer and gardener helped bring forth one of the finest gardens in the South End behind the Newdicks' street level duplex. Their lovely backyard garden was known locally for its pool with trickling waterfall, stone and slate patio and steps and Swedish-style fence. Ned installed every stone, piece of slate and wooden plank himself.
Ned was a Renaissance Man, a musician who played hypnotic blues piano and guitar by ear, an artist who created unique outdoor sculptures out of rocks; a gifted writer with a talent for penning delightful ink sketches.
He is survived by his daughter Vivian as well as two sons, Matt Foster and Ned Foster, and seven grandchilden.