web analytics
January 28, 2015 / 8 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


DEPT. OF LIVING HISTORY

New Yorkers Get Together to Save a Distinctly Jewish Architectural Gem

The Bialystoker Nursing Home, with its distinctive orange brick and Art Deco façade, has been shut down for a year after its nonprofit operators has been unable to keep the institution in business.

Years ago, I shot this image for the Grand Street News from a high floor of the Seward Park co-op on Grand Street. I believe it captures some of the Art Deco beauty of this edifice.

Years ago, I shot this image for the Grand Street News from a high floor of the Seward Park co-op on Grand Street. I believe it captures some of the Art Deco beauty of this edifice.
Photo Credit: Yori Yanover

The Bialystoker Nursing Home, with its distinctive orange brick and Art Deco façade, has been shut down for a year after its nonprofit operators has been unable to keep the institution in business.

Now city preservationists want to declare the building a landmark before somebody turns it into condominiums.

Indeed, the board of what used to be the nursing home wants to sell the home and adjacent properties “as quickly as possible,” as a spokeswoman told the NY Post, adding there was “significant interest” in the site.

The closed home is encumbered with serious financial debt, including $3 million which is owed to its unionized workers.

Councilwoman Margaret Chin, who represents the area, came out in support of landmarking in July. But so far Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, the most powerful man in the state and, of course, the Lower East Side, his home district, has not exactly endorsed the idea, although he did state that if the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission decides to declare the building a landmark, he would support their decision.

“This was an important place,” Sam Solasz, 85, chairman of the nursing home’s board for 24 years, told the Post. “I will fight no matter how much it costs.”

I turned to my good friend, City historian Joyce Mendelsohn, who is among the founders of Friends of the Bialystoker Home (FBH) for a little more information about the Bialystoker Home and Center, at 228 East Broadway (designed by architect Harry Hurwit in 1931). She sent me the following email:

Friends of the Bialystoker Home (FBH) is a grass roots group formed in September, 2011, out of concern for the future of the building, after it was announced that the home would be closed and patients relocated to other facilities outside the Lower East Side.

FBH organized a campaign to save the building through landmark designation after the Home was listed by Grubb and Ellis, a real estate firm, as a tear-down, or, as they put it: “a highly desirable development site.”

A landmark designation would protect the building from demolition and would require approval from the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission of all proposals by the new owner for additions or alteration to the building.

The sale of the building is imminent to a developer who would demolish this precious remnant of the Jewish legacy on the Lower East Side and replace it with luxury condos.

Neighborhood residents, concerned individuals, local groups and citywide organizations rallied to save this rare surviving building that reflects the history and culture of caring for generations of Jewish immigrants and their descendants on the Lower East Side. Sixteen Sponsoring Organizations signed on in support of landmark designation. They include the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, the Museum at Eldridge Street, Congregation Kehila Kedosha Janina, the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy, Historic Districts Council, NYC Landmarks Conservancy, Art Deco Society of New York and the Gotham Center for NYC History, CUNY/Graduate Center.

The founders of the Home were immigrant Jews from Bialystok, Poland, who established a federation of landsmanshaftn and erected the Bialystoker Home for the Aged for their headquarters and as a sizable facility to care for the elderly and infirm. In announcing plans for this endeavor, they declared, “Our Home will combine modernity with compassion – a Home with a Heart that will stand as a monument for succeeding generations.”

Harry Hurwit – who grew up on the LES and was the architect of several smaller buildings in the neighborhood – designed the striking ten-story structure with ornament expressing its Jewish heritage. The distinctive entrance arch displays two menorahs and twelve stone medallions each representing the Twelve Tribes of Israel, surmounted by the name, “BIALYSTOKER” in Hebraic-style lettering. The building exhibits a unique combination of Jewish symbolism and deco design that signifies a community firmly rooted in traditions of their homeland and, at the same time, proclaiming their rightful place in America.

For further information and photos, go to: friendsofthelowereastside.org

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

15 Responses to “New Yorkers Get Together to Save a Distinctly Jewish Architectural Gem”

  1. I once llived in the Seward Towers and remember this building. I thought it was very ugly and thought it should be torn down. I still fell that way. Sorry fans.

  2. Paul McGowan says:

    The building should be saved for posterity.

  3. Allen Stern says:

    Hi Jean Pierre, the building you lived in is called Seward Park, not Silver Towers.

  4. Only Tzipi Livni says:

    Salvar e voltar a funcionar.

  5. Thank you it's been a long time. I remember there were a few old buildings left around that part of Grand Street and one of them had a nice old style roof.

  6. Charlie Hall says:

    While I'm distressed by the potential loss of an archtecturally or historically significant building, I would be very hesitant to invoke a landmark provision over the objections of the owner, especially if money from the sale of the property is needed to satisfy the owner's debts.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
parent org's website homepage of new political campaign office in Israel.
Look Who is Behind the New US Democratic-Style Campaign in Israel
Latest News Stories
parent org's website homepage of new political campaign office in Israel.

There’s a new grassroots, door-to-door knocking, community organizing style campaign effort that just landed in Israel. It’s focused on hoping for change and changing for hope and taking-the-street-to-the-street style shake it up electioneering. Flying in to run the show is none other than Jeremy Bird. The same Bird who was the deputy national campaign director […]

The IAF reportedly hit a Syrian military target in Damascus around midnight.

1:05 AM Syrian Media reports sites Israeli forces targeted belonged to Assad regime forces, including “Brigade 90.” Multiple sites targeted, including base near Khan Arnabah, and west Damascus. 12:54 AM No rockets were found on the Golan. It is believed that the rocket siren went off on the Golan in response to the IAF attack […]

Israel Police deployed inside arrival hall of Ben Gurion International Airport. (archive)

PM Netanyahu says it “could be the right thing to do,” to appoint a female chief of police in Israel. Maybe “it’s time.”

israel polls

Eli Yishai’s Yachad passing the electoral threshold is enough to change the game back.

Two hostages, one each from Japan and Jordan, may die in the next 24 hours, ISIS warns.

The united Arab list is enough to shift the balance of power.

It was supposed to be the “historic snowstorm of the past half-century.” But in NYC it just didn’t happen that way.

UPDATE: No press conference was held, but the Pentagon press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, sent out a message on social media that “no decision” has yet been “made by Army leadership with respect to Sgt. Bergdahl’s case. The process will be respected.” In other words, they have not yet released their conclusion for public consumption. […]

The former editor-in-chief of Haaretz passed away at age 67 in Jerusalem.

The two rockets fired from Syria that exploded in Israel’s Golan Heights at 1 PM today signifies a new peak in tensions being felt in Israel’s northern borders.

BBC: “Our one big question this morning: Is the time coming to lay the Holocaust to rest?”

Visitors are invited to return to Mount Hermon Ski Resort after a double rocket attack sent officials to evacuate hundreds of people earlier in the day.

As usual, there is a big gap between what Arab countries promise and what they deliver.

An IDF soldier at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum in Jerusalem. Tuesday, January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On January 27, 1945 the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was liberated by Soviet forces.

The “Ugly Israeli” has taken its form in six idiot thugs who beat a Druze student, who served in the IDF, because he was speaking Arabic. A Jerusalem court was told the gang of Jews attacked the music student at the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem. The victim, identified as Tommy Hasson, served in the […]

President Obama is sending Jack Lew, the first Orthodox Jewish Treasury Secretary to the commemoration. Secretary Lew will be leading a delegation of State Department officials and Auschwitz survivors.

More Articles from Yori Yanover
rain ATM

A Jerusalem woman is trying to hold on to her umbrella while withdrawing some cash at a Meah Shearim ATM, Sunday, March 9, 2014. The rain appeared out of the blue (which is how rain should), after a warm week that started to feel like summer. Well, it don’t feel like summer no more. Last […]

Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.

Needless to say, Shas, the Haredi Sefardi party, is not happy.

“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”

Here’s the Israeli Navy boat INS Hanit arriving in Eilat on Saturday, March 8, 2014, after capturing the Klos C, which was carrying dozens of advanced Iranian-supplied weapons made in Syria and intended for Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip. Here’s Israeli Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ram Rotberg speaking with the INS Hanit soldiers in […]

Pat Condell has a new video out, so, sit back, have fun. By the way, Message to Offended Muslims should not be confused with Message to Off Handed Muslims. Also, I’d love to hear what he has to say about Haredim.

The description that came with this picture says: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with American actor Bette Midler during an event at the house of Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in Hollywood on March 6, 2014. But Bette Midler is not really an actor, she’s a singer who made movies for the LGBT community and […]

We will shut them up in the campuses, we will shut them up in the high schools, we will shut them up at the 92nd St. Y.

An Israeli female soldier (because they’re better at removing babies from their homes) evacuates a baby from a settlement in Judea and Samaria some time in the recent past. I’m thinking, if the baby was angry enough, couldn’t he evacuate in return, right there in her arms? Imagine the same picture, except with a settler […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-yorkers-get-together-to-save-a-distinctly-jewish-architectural-gem/2012/10/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: