East Village Building Blocks

274-280 East 2nd Street | Block : 372 | Lot #60

  • Building Date : 1997
  • Original Use : Residential
  • Original Owner : Donald Zucker
  • Original Architect : Stephen Jacobs

Description & Building Alterations

This large, 11-story apartment building was built in 1997. The lot is so large because, according to historic maps, a Methodist church once stood on the site. This church can be dated back to 1853. As of 1914, the church had been demolished and turned into the Israel Orphan Asylum owned by the Austrian Hebrew Free Burial and Orphan Asylum Association, which was a three-story brick tenement building.

An historic New York Times article from 1918 says that this was the largest Jewish orphanage on the East Side. A man named Gustave Hartman, a judge and Jewish community leader, founded this orphanage. Originally it was for male children ages one to six, but later opened to girls and children up to age fourteen. Many of these children were wartime orphans. Hartman financed the orphanage on his own and through fundraising. He died in 1936. 12,000 people attended his funeral and 85 police officers were needed to control the crowds. His wife continued to run the orphanage after his death. The small triangular plot of land located at 2nd Street and Avenue C was named the Gustave Hartman Triangle and still keeps that name today. Jewish orphanages were a prominent fixture in New York during this time.

A demolition occurred in 1933, and in 1944 the Israel Orphan Asylum moved to Far Rockaway and was renamed the Gustave Hartman Home. After that a five-story building was erected to be a synagogue in the basement and an old age home on the remaining floors. According to the Office for Metropolitan History, another new building was built in 1954 by the architect S J Kessler and Sons and owned by the Institute of Applied Biology. It was a two-story laboratory.

Block : 372 / Lot : 060 / Building Date : 1997 / Original Owner : Donald Zucker / Original Use : Residential / Original Architect : Stephen Jacobs

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