307 East 12th Street | Block : 454 | Lot #66
Description & Building Alterations
Originally constructed in 1891-92 by architects Vaux & Radford for The Children’s Aid Society as the Elizabeth Wheeler Residence for Girls, this four-story Queen Anne style building is constructed from pressed brick and sandstone. The Children’s Aid Society was conceived of by Charles Loring Brace in 1852 to combat poverty and crime in one of New York’s poorest districts. This building was erected five years after the home for boys.
By 1910 the home was converted into a hotel by the Aid Society after their long-standing caretaker, Elizabeth S. Hurley died in 1909. At this time additional rooms were added within the second through fourth floors to accommodate the new usage. In 1930, the home was sold to Dr. Benedict Lust, the founder of the Neuropathic Society of America. From 1946 until 1984, the building was owned by the Florence Crittenden League and known as the Barrett Shelter. The building has retained nearly all of its original architectural features such as the stepped gable, ornamental sandstone entryway, central banded chimney, hipped dormers, and unique fenestration. The Landmarks Preservation Commission declared this building a New York City Landmark in March of 2008.
Block : 454 / Lot : 066 / Building Date : 1891-92 / Original Owner : Children’s Aid Society / Original Use : Residential / Original Architect : Vaux & Radford