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(Str.: dp. 1,600; 1. 182'; b. 35'7"; dr. 16'; s. 8 k.)
Roosevelt, built for the Peary Arctic Club, was laid down 19 October 1904 by the McKay & Dix Shipyard, Buckaport, Maine; launched 23 March1905; sponsored by Mrs. Robert E. Peary; and delivered to her owners in July 1905.
Designed by Robert E. Peary speedfieally for Arctic operations, Roosevelt was built along the lines of Fridtjof Nansen's Fram. Basically a three-masted schooner, her egg-shaped, ice-strengthened hull was designed to rise with the pressure of iee, while her high-powered engine was built to earry her through the floes of Baffin Bay and Smith Sound.
On 16 July 1905, the Roosevelt Expedition, sponsored by the Peary Arctic Club, departed New York. Captained by ltobert Bartlett, Roosevelt carried Peary and his party despite fire, fog, icebergs, and rudder damage—to Cape Sheridan in the north of Ellesmere Island. Made fast to the fee on 5 September, she remained there through the winter but broke out on 4 July, prior to the return of the expedition.
Carried 20 miles south, she crashed against an ice foot a few days later, losing propeller blades, her rudder and stern post. On the 30th, Peary returned to the ship after a 6-month absence and on the 24th of August Roosevelt broke free and turned southward. By mid-September she was far enough south to assure her escape and in December she sailed into New York.
On 8 July 1908, Roosevelt, again captained by Robert Bartlett, cleared New York Harbor and began the hazardous trip north—to Baffin Bay, Smith Sound, Kane Basin, Kennedy Channel, Hall Basin, Robeson Channel, and finally into the Arctic Oeean. In early September she again made fast to the ice at Cape Sheridan to wait out the winter as Peary and his party tried for the North Pole.
Departing in February 1909, Peary accomplished his dream in April and returned to Roosevel to whose power and ice-resisting qualities had put down on the time rcquired for his over-the-iee run to the Pole. For that run Peary received a vote of thanks and was promoted to rear admiral by Congress.
In July, Roosevelt began the return voyage. In mid-August she left the iee clogged waters of Smith Sound. In September she rounded Cape Breton and steamed home. A year after her
return, Roosevelt was sold by the Peary Arctic Club to John Arbuckle, who, in turn, sold her to the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries in 1915.
On 18 March1918, she was transferred to the Navy, given the Identifieation No. 2397, armed with 3 3-pdrs., and placed in service in the 13th Naval District, headquartered at Seattle. Converted from a coal to an oil burner prior to her acquisition by the Navy, Roosevelt served on section patrol in the 13th Naval District through the end of World War I. She was returned to the Bureau of Fisheries on 11 June 1919.
Sold by that agency the following month to M. E. Tallackson, Roosevelt was later altered for ocean tug duties and served the West Coast Tug Co. from April 1923 to November 1924. She was then sold to the Washington Tug & Barge Co. of Seal tie. Last inspected in 1936, she was abandoned in 1942.
Coal strike of 1902
The Coal strike of 1902 (also known as the anthracite coal strike)   was a strike by the United Mine Workers of America in the anthracite coalfields of eastern Pennsylvania. Miners striked for higher wages, shorter workdays, and the recognition of their union. The strike threatened to shut down the winter fuel supply to major American cities. At that time, residences were typically heated with anthracite or "hard" coal, which produces higher heat value and less smoke than "soft" or bituminous coal.
The strike never resumed, as the miners received a 10% wage increase and reduced workdays from ten to nine hours the owners got a higher price for coal and did not recognize the trade union as a bargaining agent. It was the first labor dispute in which the U.S. federal government and President Theodore Roosevelt intervened as a neutral arbitrator. [ citation needed ]
In addition to primary care, the hospital includes 21 specialty clinics. A partial list includes cardiology/cardiovascular surgery, cancer, bariatrics and diabetes, geriatrics, and neurology. 
The facility has 495 beds, and in 2019 had 97,000 days of patient care and 41,800 days of inpatient and ambulatory care with 14,000 discharges including newborns. There were 90,300 emergency department visits and 10,700 emergency department admissions. 
Emergency department Edit
The Emergency department is staffed 24-hours by board-certified physicians, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, and case managers who specialize in emergency medicine. The hospital also provides pediatric emergency medicine, psychiatric emergency, and specialized services for victims of sexual assaults. The department has a 24-hour stroke team and Heart Attack (MI) Team, as well as a 24-hour on-call cardiac catheterization lab. 
Residency programs Edit
Mount Sinai Morningside sponsors 30 accredited residency training programs.  The Department of Medicine trains 158 residents and an additional 39 fellows one of the largest programs in New York State and in the top 10 largest nationally. Each program has full accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the institution itself is accredited for the maximum 5-year cycle. The Internal Medicine Training Program uses strategies to ensure that residents can learn from every patient, including using a drip system for distributing admissions and prohibiting overnight calls anywhere in the training program. In addition, the department limits the number of patients that can be carried by an intern to no more than 10 by contrast, 83% of the programs in New York state, New Jersey and all of New England still allow interns to carry 12 patients. The program also has its own Simulation Lab for training residents. The residency program in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology uses Mount Sinai Beth Israel in addition to Mount Sinai Morningside and Mount Sinai West. Residents study over 70,000 cases, which cover a wide variety of disease processes, and range from routine to complex and unusual disease entities. 
St. Luke's was founded by William Augustus Muhlenberg, pastor of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion. In 1846, Muhlenberg had started raising funds for New York City residents who were both poor and ill.   St. Luke's was incorporated in 1850,    being only the fourth general hospital to open in New York City.  The hospital received its first patients in 1853, initially operating within the Church of the Holy Communion building at Sixth Avenue and 20th Street in present-day Chelsea.   The next year, the institution had acquired a plot on Fifth Avenue between 54th and 55th Streets, near St. Patrick's Cathedral.  John W. Ritch designed a new brick building in the Romanesque Revival style, which was composed of two wings flanking a central pavilion.  
St. Luke's Hospital moved to its Fifth Avenue location in 1858.    Muhlenberg continued his role as hospital superintendent until his death in 1877, upon which he was succeeded by the Rev. George S. Baker.  The surrounding area developed quickly, and by the late 19th century, the hospital's Fifth Avenue location was becoming increasingly outdated due to the expansion of the hospital facilities, as well as the increasing value of the land in Midtown.    A training school for nurses was founded in 1888, and three years later, tuberculosis patients were moved to a facility in Tremont, Bronx.  By 1892, St. Luke's Hospital had treated 36,050 patients throughout its history, of which 99% were Christians the majority of these were Protestants. 
New campus Edit
In March 1891, a committee was established to search for a new site. George Macculloch Miller, who had led the purchase of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine's land in Morningside Heights, had been interested in a partnership with St. Luke's Hospital for five years.  By 1892, Miller had convinced the hospital to purchase the site directly north of the cathedral, between 113th and 114th Street.   The arrangement was expected to be mutually beneficial for both institutions. An annual report from St. Luke's lauded the proximity to Morningside Park, immediately to the east, as well as its elevated location on top of the Morningside Heights plateau.   The acquisition proved difficult, as St. Luke's had to take land from eight landowners. 
The building committee headed a design competition for the project,  in which eighty firms participated.  Five prominent architects Heins & LaFarge, James Brown Lord, George Edward Harney, James Renwick Jr., and Charles W. Clinton, were offered $400 to submit designs.   Renwick and Clinton declined to enter the competition, and other architects submitted plans without receiving compensation.  Most of these schemes worked to harmonize the hospital's design with the Gothic Revival style of the cathedral.  The competition was mildly controversial: the Real Estate Record and Guide said that because competitors could not use pseudonyms, the judges could more easily identify the architects that they favored.  The commission was ultimately given to Ernest Flagg.   His proposal was the only design that deviated significantly from the cathedral's design, as it was in the French Renaissance Revival style.  Flagg likely benefited from favoritism:    he had been described as a "surrogate son" of Cornelius Vanderbilt II, who was part of St. Luke's executive and building committees,  and had no previous design experience.   Though the building committee initially had reservations about the selection, it appointed Flagg and Charles Clinton jointly as architects for the project, with the stipulation that the committee could revise the plan at any time.  
St. Luke's began work on the project in May 1893   and sold their Fifth Avenue building the next month.  In the initial round of construction, five pavilions were constructed.   The project was beset by delays and disputes due to Flagg's combativeness toward suppliers: he objected to the quality of such materials as the marble, steel, and stained glass.   The hospital's trustees expressed concerns, because they had promised to leave the old building by July 1894. Despite this, the trustees chose to remain within part of its Fifth Avenue campus and turn the rest over to the new owners,  the Union Club of the City of New York.  In December 1895, the old building stopped accepting patients.  The following month, the first patients started to move into the new building.   Construction was not completed until late 1896.  The total cost of construction was $1.7 million. 
In its early years, St. Luke's suffered from a lack of funding, and did not have a pavilion for private patients.  Initially, patients were housed in two stories of the Vanderbilt Pavilion, which had been intended for nurses. Affluent patients at first avoided St. Luke's due to the lack of a private pavilion, hurting its business.  Furthermore, it was nominally affiliated with the Episcopal Church despite only a minority of patients being Episcopal, thus limiting potential donors to wealthy Episcopalians.   By 1901, St. Luke's board was preparing plans for a private patients' pavilion, though such a structure could not be built until funds were provided.  The money for an expansion was finally provided in a donation from Margaret J. Plant, wife of the late railroad magnate Henry B. Plant, and was announced in November 1903.   Though Flagg submitted designs for the Plant Pavilion,  there is insufficient evidence to determine whether he supervised the construction process.  After Flagg submitted plans in early 1904, work started on the Plant Pavilion in April 1904,   and after a delay caused by a labor strike,  it was completed in 1906.   
Two further additions were made afterward. The first was Travers Pavilion on 114th Street, which was built between 1908 and 1911.   A decade later, Flagg was hired to design another pavilion for private patients, the Scrymser Pavilion. Money for this pavilion was provided by communications magnate James Alexander Scrymser, who left money for the structure in his will.   Plans for the pavilion were filed in June 1926, and construction began that October the pavilion was completed in 1928. 
Later history Edit
After World War II, numerous modern buildings were erected, and two pavilions were removed. The first structure to be built in this modern wave of development was the Clark Building along the two undeveloped plots on Amsterdam Avenue this was designed by York & Sawyer and built in 1952–1954.   Woman's Hospital was merged with St. Luke's Hospital in 1952, forming St. Luke's Hospital Center,  and the hospital center also became partially affiliated with Columbia University.  The Norrie and Vanderbilt Pavilions were demolished in replaced with plain brick buildings. The Norrie Pavilion was replaced with the Stuyvesant Building, designed by York & Sawyer and built in 1956–1957, while the Vanderbilt Pavilion was replaced by the Service and Research Building, built in 1966–1968 to a design by Harry M. Prince.   The observation dome on the administration building was destroyed in 1966. 
St. Luke's Hospital became fully affiliated with Columbia in 1971.  St. Luke's Hospital merged its services with Roosevelt Hospital in 1978, becoming St. Luke's–Roosevelt Hospital Center.  On January 9, 1997, St. Luke's-Roosevelt entered into a partnership with Beth Israel Medical Center and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, forming the Greater Metropolitan Health Systems, Inc. In April 1998, Greater Metropolitan Health Systems, Inc. was renamed Continuum Health Partners. 
The Plant and Scrymser Pavilions for Private Patients were designated by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission as official city landmarks in 2002.   In 2013, Continuum Health Partners merged with Mount Sinai Medical Center to become the Mount Sinai Health System,  and two years later, St. Luke's Hospital became Mount Sinai St. Luke's.  Four of the original pavilions—Plant, Scrymser, Travers, and Minturn—were sold in 2016 and converted to a complex of 300 rental apartments. The conversion was undertaken by the architecture firm CetraRuddy.  In 2019, the original pavilions were listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  In 2020, the hospital was renamed Mount Sinai Morningside.    
Flagg designed St. Luke's Hospital with nine pavilions: four 4 + 1 ⁄ 2 -story pavilions each on 113th and 114th Streets, respectively to the south and north, and a 6-story central administration building in the middle, facing 113th Street to the south.    The side streets' pavilions were designed with brick and stone facades as well as mansard roofs.  The plan was a continuation of previous hospital designs that had split the wings into several pavilions connected by arcades.   In St. Luke's, the arcades were elevated, with arches beneath to allow air to pass through.   Patient wards were on 113th Street, while nurses' quarters and private patients' wings were on 114th Street.   Each pavilion was designed around a central courtyard with a staircase and elevator. 
Ultimately, eight of Flagg's pavilions were built.   Of these, six remain, four of which are no longer part of the hospital.  In the final design, the board decided to move the administration building closer to the street and to remove the proposed gatehouses. Staircases were placed in the arcades between pavilions so that the individual wards could be more easily quarantined.  The revised plan also allowed the construction of a chapel behind the administration building.  When it opened, the hospital was composed of the administration building the Minturn, Chapel, Norrie, and Vanderbilt Pavilions an ambulance stable and a pathology building.  The total patient capacity of the building was estimated at 350 persons when it was completed. 
Administration building Edit
The central administration building—also called the Muhlenberg Pavilion, for the hospital's founder—is set back from 113th Street.  It was one of the five original pavilions opened in 1896.  The building was topped by a dome, which rose 140 feet (43 m) and was compared to that of the Luxembourg Palace,    though St. Luke's dome was demolished in 1966.  West–east corridors ran across each floor, and elevators connected the floors, allowing sick patients to be transported more easily. As planned, the first (ground) floor was to be a lobby and offices the second to fourth floors, a children's ward the fifth floor, dining rooms and the sixth floor, operating theaters.  An open court was placed in front of the central pavilion. 
Chapel Pavilion Edit
The Chapel Pavilion, one of the original pavilions opened in 1896, is located on 114th Street, just north of the administration building. The pavilion was not in the initial design. 
Flagg designed a chapel at the hospital, as well as the stained glass windows in the chapel.   As designed, a tower was to rise above the chapel.  The space measures 70 feet (21 m) long by 30 feet (9.1 m) wide and 34 feet (10 m) tall.  It was consecrated in 1896. 
Travers Pavilion Edit
The Travers Pavilion was built northeast of the administration building, to the east of Chapel Pavilion, in 1908–1911.   It was used for outpatient treatment and as a female hospital staffers' dormitory.    It was later used for administrative offices before being converted to apartments. 
Plant and Scrymser Pavilions Edit
The Plant and Scrymser Pavilions are located on Morningside Drive, on the eastern part of the hospital site.  Plant, named after donor Margaret J. Plant, opened on the southeast corner of the site in 1906. Scrymser, named after donor Mary Catherine Prime Scrymser, opened on the northeast corner in 1928.   They were initially used as wings where wealthy patients could be treated separately from the rest of the hospital's patients.  Plant, eight stories tall, had rooms for the hospital's superintendent as well.   Scrymser, one of Flagg's final commissions in Manhattan, was nine stories tall and differed from the other pavilions, in that it contained upper terraces with loggias (rather than a mansard roof), as well as a brick facade with muted ornamentation.  They were converted to apartments starting in 2016. 
Minturn Pavilion Edit
The Minturn Pavilion, one of the original pavilions opened in 1896,  is located on 113th Street, just southeast of the administration building.  Named for the hospital's founding president Robert Minturn, it initially served as a women's surgical ward.  It was later used for administrative offices and then converted to apartments. 
Norrie and Vanderbilt Pavilions Edit
The Norrie Pavilion was located at the northwest corner of the site, while the Vanderbilt Pavilion was located at the southwest corner both were west of the administration building  and were among the original pavilions opened in 1896.  The Norrie Pavilion, named after hospital treasurer Gordon Norrie was used as a men's surgical ward  and opened in March 1896.  The Vanderbilt Pavilion—named for benefactor William Henry Vanderbilt, who had paid for the original building's annex—was used as staff dormitories  and opened in January 1896.  They were demolished in the 1950s. 
Woman's Hospital Edit
Woman's Hospital was founded by Dr. J. Marion Sims with financial backing from Sarah Platt Doremus, who ultimately became president of the hospital.  From South Carolina, Sims had developed a revolutionary approach to treating vesico-vaginal fistulas, a catastrophic complication from obstructed childbirth. The hospital was first located in a rented house at Madison Avenue and 29th Street. Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet, who served at the hospital, published the first comprehensive textbook in English on gynecology. 
In 1867 Woman's Hospital moved to a new location on Park Avenue, at the present site of the Waldorf Astoria New York. The location had been used as a burial ground during the 1832 cholera outbreak, and 47,000 coffins were dug up to make way for the new construction.  In 1906 Woman's Hospital moved to 110th Street and Amsterdam the new structure, designed by Frederick R. Allen of Allen & Collens, was expanded in 1913.  Woman's Hospital was merged with St. Luke's Hospital in 1952, forming St. Luke's Hospital Center,  and the old Woman's Hospital building at 110th Street and Amsterdam Avenue was destroyed.   Finally, in 1965, it was moved to 114th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, just across the street from St. Luke's.  
St. Luke's Hospital Training School for Nurses Edit
The nurses training school operated from 1888 until its last class was graduated in 1974. The school shuttered due to competition from increasingly available four-year bachelor's degree programs. It was founded by Annie Ayres, a devotee of St. Luke's founder Muhlenberg and graduated 4,000 nurses during its 80-year run.   
FDR Pushed for the Rescue of Jewish Refugees, Newly Revealed Documents Show
SEPTEMBER 2009 — To his critics, Franklin Roosevelt’s response to the Holocaust was epitomized by his June 1939 decision to refuse political asylum to more than 900 passengers aboard the German ocean liner St. Louis. The passengers, nearly all of them Jewish refugees, had the lights of Miami in sight when the United States government refused them permission to disembark. Roosevelt did not respond to pleas for help. The ship returned to Europe, and the Holocaust claimed more than a third of those who returned to the Continent.
Because of this, Roosevelt has been depicted as indifferent to the fate of the Jews. According to a new book, Refugees and Rescue, though, it is a reputation he does not deserve. As revealed in the previously unpublished diary of James McDonald, the man who oversaw Roosevelt’s wartime advisory committee on refugees, FDR did try to help Jewish refugees before the war.
A year before the St. Louis affair, FDR prodded the State Department to allow tens of thousands of Jews to immigrate from Germany and Austria, and developed plans to turn the Western democracies into a huge safety net. “Roosevelt was a man of grand vision who wanted to resettle a much larger number of refugees,” writes Richard Breitman, an American University historian who helped edit the volume. “[But] his willingness to take action varied sharply according to political and military circumstances.”
As early as the spring of 1938, according to McDonald’s papers, Roosevelt began talking about a plan to rescue millions of Jews from Nazi Germany and divide them between a group of 10 democratic countries. Later that year, Roosevelt promised McDonald that he would ask Congress to appropriate $150 million to help resettle refugees around the world. In May 1939, only a month before the St. Louis incident, McDonald was present when FDR warned his advisors that the situation of the Jews in Germany was growing critical. “It was not so much a question of money,” McDonald recorded the president saying, “as it was of actual lives.”
McDonald, the high commissioner for refugees for the League of Nations in the 1930s, had no tolerance for foot-dragging bureaucrats or timid world leaders. He had resigned from his post in 1935 over the organization’s unwillingness to help Jews in Nazi Germany. And he had no reason to make excuses for Roosevelt. Which, historians say, is what makes his decision to join the president’s advisory committee on refugees in 1938—and his impressions of a president he believed was quite concerned about the fate of European Jews—so important.
So why didn’t Roosevelt act? McDonald blamed the intractable politics of the time. In early 1939, with the St. Louis about to set sail, FDR refused to endorse a bill that would have brought 20,000 German Jewish children into the United States outside the immigration quota. From McDonald’s perspective, FDR saw the bill as a mere gesture—not a solution. In the face of strong public opposition and an intransigent State Department, both Roosevelt and McDonald also recognized that the bill was doomed to fail. “The problem was that most of the initiatives to resettle refugees…proved impossible, met substantial resistance abroad, or developed very slowly,” Breitman and his coeditors write. “The outbreak of war destroyed most of what opportunities remained.”
By 1940, Roosevelt abandoned his major resettlement efforts when he was forced to change his focus from humanitarian action to national security. That transition disappointed McDonald so much that he voted for Wendell Willkie in that year’s presidential election.
Nonetheless, after FDR won, McDonald stayed on as the president’s adviser, doing what he could to help Europe’s Jews. “We definitely have a sense that McDonald felt he and Roosevelt were, if not on the same page, at least in the same chapter,” Breitman told World War II. “He eventually realized that no one had the power to stop the Holocaust.” Sadly, that included the president.
The Springs continued as the community’s primary industry until the turn of the 20th century when industry found its footing with low cost hydro power. The first hydroelectric facility was built in 1900 when Henry H. Warren organized a company to dig a power canal that connected the Grasse River and the mighty St. Lawrence. In that distance, the depth dropped 45 feet and allowed for the harnessing of 200,000 horsepower.
This source of inexpensive, reliable power enticed the Pittsburgh Reduction Company (later named the Aluminum Company of America, or Alcoa) to establish a facility in the community. With the influx of workers created by the new industrial plant, housing shortages were not uncommon and many workers stayed at the grand hotels formerly filled with those who sought the healing powers of the mineral springs.
Lewis & Clark
In May 1804, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark set off on their Voyage of Discovery, embarking near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Today, you can visit the confluence on one of our specialty riverboat cruises.
November 18, 1805, the crew reached the mouth of Oregon’s Columbia River, fulfilling a primary goal of the expedition—to map a route to the Pacific and establish the United States’ claim to the Pacific Northwest.
The Expedition returned to St. Louis on September 23, 1806, landing near the site of the Gateway Arch.
Virginia Minor, who in 1873 sued for women’s right to vote at the Old Courthouse, was related to Meriwether Lewis, leader of the Corps of Discovery.
Discover more of the fascinating history and engineering behind the Gateway Arch at the official National Park Service page.
SARA D. ROOSEVELT PARK, Chinatown
In the crowded Lower East Side of Manhattan there is a linear park covering seven blocks between Houston and Canal Streets. It is the product of Depression-period slum clearance that provided much-needed public green space for the poor, tired, huddled masses yearning to breathe free.
Before this park was built, its site contained cemeteries, synagogues, and a short-lived luxury hotel tower. Forsyth and Chrystie Street follow the park’s length, offering historic buildings that withstood the neighborhood’s demographic changes and urban renewal schemes. The 1852 Matthew Dripps map shows a cemetery, two Baptist churches, an Episcopal church, a Reform temple, and an armory on the park’s footprint. Circled is an African American cemetery which I will discuss below.
I arrived at Sara D. Roosevelt Park to inspect the conditions of its Golden Age Center, an unremarkable Modernist facility completed in 1964. Except for the artwork on its southern wall, the building has mosaics but no plaque indicating their artist or date of completion. Behind the building on its north side is where history is to be discussed.
The M’Finda Kalunga Garden was founded in 1982 in a neglected section of the park frequented by drug users and vagrants. The name of this reclaimed green space is translated to mean “Garden at the Edge of the Other Side of the World” in the Kikongo language that was spoken by many of the city’s first African-Americans when they arrived here as slaves. Across the street from this garden, the property at 195-197 Chrystie Street served as the city’s second African Burial Ground, after the first one in the Civic Center was closed and desecrated with development. This cemetery received burials from 1795 until 1853. Freeman Alley is on this block. It’s possible that the name may be related to the cemetery, but so far I haven’t found any evidence for it. Most of the remains were reinterred at Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, which hosts relocated graves from a few other small cemeteries that were decommissioned in favor of urban growth.
Urban waterways are my specialty. On this matter, a tiny pond for goldfish and turtles can be found in M’Finda Kalunga Garden. The period when the city’s second African American cemetery operated was one of transition as Africans became more American. Slave importation was abolished in 1808, and twenty years later the state’s last slaves were released from ownership. Within a decade of the cemetery’s closing, the Civil War would put an end to this dehumanizing practice. The cemetery was under the auspices of St. Philip’s Church, a church for “free Africans” founded in 1809. Like the story of the city’s largest Reform Temple, and its Catholic cathedral, this historic Black congregation kept moving uptown. It is presently located in Harlem. The park has a second garden designed by a more recent immigrant community, the Hua Mei Bird Garden, named after a popular songbird in China.
Also on Chrystie Street one can see the contrast between the 19th and 21st centuries. 163 Chrystie has a German Rundbogenstil, or “round arch style.” This was a mid-19th Century attempt in Germany to develop a national architectural style. Kevin’s tour of 14th Street from October 2019 offers more examples of Rundbogenstil. Next door, 165 Chrystie offers the post-millennial look of floor-to-ceiling glass windows and concrete walls. Designed by ODA Architecture, the 9-unit luxury residence replaced a three-story Chinese kitchen supply store.
At Stanton Street there is an art installation from 2016 by street artist KAWS a.k.a. Brian Donnelly. His work was part of a $300,000 commitment by Nike in redesigning the basketball court. Nearly four years later, the painting still looks good. Kevin walked Stanton Street in 2010.
On the east side of the park facing this basketball court is the former Public School 20, one of many historically-inspired schools designed by C.B.J. Snyder. In 1985 at the height of the AIDS crisis this former school became the Rivington House, a 219-bed nursing home for patients afflicted with this incurable virus. In 2015, the facility closed and was sold to a politically-connected nursing home operator who then sold it to a private developer who had dreams of a luxury condo conversion here. Investigations and controversy ensued. In 2019, a mystery LLC purchased the building, which is leased for 30 years to Mount Sinai Hospital as a clinic. If you choose to go east on Rivington Street, Kevin walked this street in 2010.
Returning to the Golden Age Center, we are standing on the site of the tallest building demolished to make way for Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The 12-story Libby’s Hotel & Baths set the luxury standard in this otherwise working-class neighborhood. It was completed in 1926 and named after the mother of its owner Max Bernstein. Billed as the Ritz with a Shvitz, the $3 million hotel symbolized the Roaring Twenties and its owner as an immigrant success story. Libby’s had its own Yiddish radio show broadcasted from the hotel. Bernstein did not have luck on his side. Besides losing his mother at a young age, his wife died shortly after the hotel’s opening, sending him into a depression. Then a predatory lender foreclosed on the property in 1929. Within two years it was demolished to make way for the park.
The hotel faced Delancey Street, a wide thoroughfare connecting Little Italy to the Williamsburg Bridge. Prior to the bridge, Grand Street served as the neighborhood’s main east-west route on account of its ferry terminal.
Following the completion of the bridge this street was widened to accommodate the increased traffic but I’ve wondered why Delancey wasn’t extended through SoHo to reach the west side. In the above 1934 photo from Municipal Archives, we see the site of Libby’s Hotel with Delancey Street in the foreground.
The widening allowed for a green median on Delancey that was initially to resemble a parkway. In 1921 it was given the name Schiff Parkway, a name that is as remembered as Avenue of the Americas and Joe DiMaggio Highway. Namesake Jacob Schiff was a German Jewish immigrant who achieved tremendous success in finance. This Upper East Side millionaire identified with the poor Jews of the Lower East Side not only through his philanthropy but also by walking its streets without being identified. His name also appears on an uptown playground. As the traffic flow increased, Schiff Parkway was narrowed in favor of more traffic lanes. The same story happened with Park Avenue’s malls and 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights.
In the past decade, Schiff Parkway’s width was partially restored thanks to the bike lane on Delancey Street that took away one traffic lane.
Speaking of namesakes, Sara D. Roosevelt was alive when the Board of Aldermen named this park for her in September 1934. The runner up-honoree was former Parks Commissioner Charles B. Stover. A humble woman, she preferred to have it named after social worker Lillian Wald, who had strong ties to the neighborhood. Her family has roots in New York reaching back to the Dutch period, and her oldest son was the president. Keeping out of the fray, she excused herself from the park’s dedication ceremony.
Not enough Roosevelts for you? Check out my earlier essay on Theodore Roosevelt Park and FDR’s missing memorial in Midwood. Kevin takes us back to the demapped Roosevelt Street that predates both presidents and their mothers.
Three blocks to the east of this intersection the Tenement Museum has a corner storefront promoting immigration history in this city. Once a modest tenement-turned-museum at 97 Orchard Street, it has since undergone an expansion that includes offices, storefront, and an elevator, among other accessibility improvements. Kevin walked the length of Orchard Street in 2018 and documented the fading ads of Delancey in 1999.
I’m Just Walkin’ blogger Matt Green calls the facility on Delancey and Forsyth a “churchagogue,” and he’s seen plenty of them across the city. The Spanish Delancey Seventh Day Adventist Church offers hints of its Jewish past with stars of David on its windows. Its designer, J. Cleveland Cady, also had the American Museum of Natural History and the old Metropolitan Opera House on his resume. Built in 1890 for a missionary church, it had no luck converting Jewish immigrants and soon became a palatial synagogue. The owners wisely rented out the first floor to storefronts.
In the 1960s, the synagogue had few members, as younger generations moved uptown, out of Manhattan, and towards the suburbs. The church purchased this shul in 1971. Under its current owner, services here still take place on Saturdays. In 2016, the church offered its site for development, with the provision to retain the first three floors. This building is not landmarked. So far, no glass box tower here yet. Check back here in a couple of years.
At 104 Forsyth Street facing the park with a presidential surname is the apartment building honoring the 20th president, who served for just six months in 1881 when he was assassinated. Like its namesake, the building has some sad stories of its own. Daytonian in Manhattan blogger Tom Miller gives us a detailed history of The Garfield Flats.
Here’s another former synagogue, 80 Forsyth Street. Again, Tom Miller gives us its history, so I don’t have to. Its most remarkable owners were artist couple Pat Pasloff and her husband Milton Resnick, who bought the building in 1966. Resnick also owned a former synagogue-turned-studio a block away on Orchard Street. In 2013 after Pasloff’s death, the studio was put on the market for $6.2 million.
On this block the park also wiped away The Grand Theatre, a palace of Yiddish plays that was part of a cluster of theaters nearby on the Bowery dubbed the Yiddish Rialto. This 1,700-seat theatre welcomed neighbors from nearby Little Italy and Chinatown with plays in their respective languages. Prolific city photographer Percy Loomis Sperr was on the scene to capture the demolition of this beautiful structure. In this NYPL Digital Collections photo, Sperr is looking south on Chrystie Street towards Grand Street. Libby’s Hotel and Grand Theatre were the last buildings demolished in favor of the park, on account of their size.
I’m surprised that Tom Miller hasn’t yet chronicled 70 Forsyth Street, built as The Major. This five-story walkup seems like an ideal counterpart to the Grand Theatre, similar to how the Farley Post Office complimented the old Penn Station across the street. The Major and the Grand Theater were built in the same generation, but I do not know if they shared an architect. The building is not mentioned in the AIA Guide and it is not landmarked. Similar to how Jewish immigrants of the early 20th century created landsmanshaften of newcomers from the same villages and regions, Chinese newcomers at the turn of this century are doing the same. 70 Forsyth Street is home to the New Fuzhou Senior Association, representing folks from the capital city of the Fujian Province.
The beauty of Sara D. Roosevelt Park was almost compromised by the man who ran the city’s Parks Department. In his effort to steamroll a highway across lower Manhattan, Robert Moses saw this park as an easy path for the Lower Manhattan Expressway, or Lomex. In a 1955 illustration from the Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority, the highway is shown running atop the block to the west of the park, taking away dozens of tenements and small businesses so that cars can travel between Brooklyn and New Jersey without any traffic lights. And this was only a spur of Lomex. The main highway’s route was east-west between Delancey and Broome Streets, running from the Holland Tunnel to Williamsburg Bridge.
The 1963 Arterial Program by TBTA shows the full length of Lomex, its tentacle-like ramps, and how “relocating 2,000 families is not really a difficult process.” This plan would have encroached on the park at Broome Street, and would have razed the block where the Tenement Museum is located. Thousands of tenements have been demolished in favor of public housing, schools, roads, and parks. By sheer luck, 97 Orchard Street survived long enough to become a museum!
In the 1967 plan drafted by the city’s DOT, we see the highway taking over the park entirely south of Delancey Street. The parkland loss would have been made up with a new set of parks above a highway trench in SoHo. Delancey/Kenmare and Broome streets would have been relegated as service roads for the main Lomex route.
To account for the “relocation of 2,000 families,” architect Paul Rudolph proposed a linear “city within the city” atop the Lomex with brutalist stepped concrete high-rises covering the highway, which would have been built atop Sara D. Roosevelt Park. At its junction with Canal Street and Manhattan Bridge, Rudolph proposed a massive transit hub whose shape is somewhere between a nautilus spiral and a domed arena. The Confucius Plaza high-rise stands there today. Fortunately this expressway did not succeed and the park was saved.
The southernmost block of Sara D. Roosevelt Park, between Hester and Canal Streets, has seen dramatic change on its eastern side. In this 1934 photo from the Municipal Archives, we see the cleared park block looking south. The dome in the background is the synagogue at 27 Forsyth Street. Most synagogues on the LES were comprised of landsmen from specific places this one was founded by Jews from Suwalki, Poland. The synagogue failed to pay its bills and was forced to close in 1926. The building is still Orthodox in name: since 1935 as St. Barbara’s Greek Orthodox Church, an outpost of Greek culture in this largely Chinese neighborhood.
In 1934 this block contained IS 131, another fine C.B.J. Snyder product. But as the student body grew and its needs changed, the old school was razed and replaced in 1983 with a modernist facility. In the above photo, we see this school on the right side of the park. The photographer took this shot standing atop the Manhattan Bridge entrance arch. The southern side of this park is Canal Street, where Kevin walked in 2019.
The circular edges of Intermediate School 131 have the look of a Guggenheim knockoff or garage ramps, spilling over a remapped block of Forsyth Street facing the park. The school is co-named for Dr. Sun Yat-Sen, leader of the Xinhai Revolution that overthrew China’s last imperial dynasty in 1911. The annual Lunar New Year Parade marches past this building with pride. My story on these seven historic blocks ends here.
Sergey Kadinsky is the author of Hidden Waters of New York City: A History and Guide to 101 Forgotten Lakes, Ponds, Creeks, and Streams in the Five Boroughs (2016, Countryman Press) and the webmaster of Hidden Waters Blog.
Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”
History & Culture
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Roosevelt Str - History
America's conflict with Spain was later described as a "splendid little war" and for Theodore Roosevelt it certainly was. His combat experience consisted of one week's campaign with one day of hard fighting. "The charge itself was great fun" he declared, and "Oh, but we had a bully fight." His actions during the battle earned a recommendation for the Congressional Medal of Honor but politics intervened and the request was denied. The rejection crushed Roosevelt. As though in consolation, the notoriety from the charge up San Juan Hill was instrumental in propelling him to the governorship of New York in 1899. The following year Roosevelt was selected to fill the Vice Presidential spot in President McKinley's successful run for a second term. With McKinley's assassination in September 1901, Roosevelt became President.
In the confusion surrounding their departure from Tampa, half the members of the Rough Riders were left behind along with all their horses. The volunteers made the charge up San Juan Hill on foot. They were joined in the attack by the 10th (Negro) Cavalry. The 10th never received the glory for the charge that the Rough Riders did, but one of their commanders - Captain "Black Jack" Pershing (who later commanded American troops in World War I) - was awarded the Silver Star.
"Roosevelt. made you feel like you would like to cheer."
Richard Harding Davis was a reporter who observed the charge up San Juan Hill. We join his account as American forces have massed at the bottom of the hill - the Spanish entrenched in a dominate position on its top. Behind the Americans, advancing troops have clogged the roads preventing an escape. The Americans appear to be stymied - unwilling to move forward and unable to retreat. Suddenly, Theodore Roosevelt emerges on horseback from the surrounding woods and rallies the men to charge:
I speak of Roosevelt first because, with General Hawkins, who led Kent's division, notably the Sixth and Sixteenth Regulars, he was, without doubt, the most conspicuous figure in the charge. General Hawkins, with hair as white as snow, and yet far in advance of men thirty years his junior, was so noble a sight that you felt inclined to pray for his safety on the other hand, Roosevelt, mounted high on horseback, and charging the rifle-pits at a gallop and quite alone, made you feel that you would like to cheer. He wore on his sombrero a blue polka-dot handkerchief, a la Havelock, which, as he advanced, floated out straight behind his head, like a guidon. Afterward, the men of his regiment who followed this flag, adopted a polka-dot handkerchief as the badge of the Rough Riders. These two officers were notably conspicuous in the charge, but no one can claim that any two men, or anyone man, was more brave or more daring, or showed greater courage in that slow, stubborn advance than did any of the others. . . .
I think the thing which impressed one the most, when our men started from cover, was that they were so few. It seemed as if someone had made an awful and terrible mistake. One's instinct was to call them to come back. You felt that someone had blundered and that these few men were blindly following out some madman's mad order. It was not heroic then, it seemed merely terribly pathetic. The pity of it, the folly of such a sacrifice was what held you.
They had no glittering bayonets, they were not massed in regular array. There were a few men in advance, bunched together, and creeping up a steep, sunny hill, the top of which roared and flashed with flame. The men held their guns pressed across their breasts and stepped heavily as they climbed. Behind these first few, spreading out like a fan, were single lines of men, slipping and scrambling in the smooth grass, moving forward with difficulty, as though they were wading waist high through water, moving slowly, carefully, with strenuous effort. It was much more wonderful than any swinging charge could have been. They walked to greet death at every step, many of them, as they advanced, sinking suddenly or pitching forward and disappearing in the high grass, but the others' waded on, stubbornly, forming a thin blue line that kept creeping higher and higher up the hill. It was as inevitable as the rising tide. It was a miracle of self-sacrifice, a triumph of bulldog courage, which one watched breathless with wonder. The fire of the Spanish riflemen, who still stuck bravely to their posts, doubled and trebled in fierceness, the crests of
|Roosevelt (center) and the|
Rough Riders celebrate
at the top of San Juan Hill
The men of the Ninth and the Rough Riders rushed to the blockhouse together, the men of the Sixth, of the Third, of the Tenth Cavalry, of the Sixth and Sixteenth Infantry, fell on their faces along the crest of the hills beyond, and opened upon the vanishing enemy. They drove the yellow silk flags of the cavalry and the Stars and Stripes of their country into the soft earth of the trenches, and then sank down and looked back at the road they had climbed and swung their hats in the air. And from far overhead, from these few figures perched on the Spanish rifle-pits, with their flags planted among the empty cartridges of the enemy, and overlooking the walls of Santiago, came, faintly, the sound of a tired, broken cheer."
Davis, Richard Harding, The Cuban and Porto Rican Campaigns (1898) Freidel, Frank, The Splendid Little War (1958) Morris Edmund, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (1979).
End of the Bull Moose Party
By 1916, the Bull Moose Party had changed: A prominent leader, Perkins, was convinced that the best route was to unite with Republicans against the Democrats. While the Republicans were interested in uniting with the Progressives, they were not interested in Roosevelt.
In any case, Roosevelt refused the nomination after the Bull Moose Party chose him to be its standard-bearer in the presidential election. The party tried next to give the nomination to Charles Evan Hughes, a sitting justice on the Supreme Court. Hughes also refused. The Progressives held their last executive committee meeting in New York on May 24, 1916, two weeks before the Republican National Convention. But they were unable to come up with a reasonable alternative to Roosevelt.
Without its Bull Moose leading the way, the party dissolved shortly thereafter. Roosevelt himself died of stomach cancer in 1919.