Toni Boornazian

Then (1936) and Now (2020)

Stuyvesant Square West - 1936
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Stuyvesant Square Park has changed over time since the four acres it occupies were sold by Peter Gerard Stuyvesant and his wife Helen Rutherford to New York City for a nominal $5 in 1836 so that it could become a public park. It was not until 1847 that the city began to improve the land and erect the fence surrounding the park, which remains the oldest cast-iron fence in New York City. In 1884, the two fountains were completed. The park was again rehabilitated in the 1930’s (see photos below), looking much as it does today with visitors relaxing, reading, walking and enjoying the bounty of the park.

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Lying In Hospital

The backdrop for the above photo of the park is Rutherford Place, a residential building on 17th Street with a compelling history that is summarized on a plaque affixed to the building:

In 1899 construction began for the New York Lying In Hospital. Designed by Robert. H. Richardson and donated by J. Pierpont Morgan, the hospital opened its doors in 1902 and during its early years sixty percent all hospital births in Manhattan took place here.
The Lying In Hospital was considered the best maternity hospital at that time, serving both the rich and poor. The facade of the building is appropriately decorated with swaddled babies. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, an effort that SPNA supported.

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