Bialystoker Center and Home
Friends of the Lower East Side are pleased to announce that the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has designated this important building, designed by architect Harry Hurwit, constructed between 1929-31 to house the largest and most prominent of all the “landsmanschaftn” (mutual aid societies) on the Lower East Side. The building survives as a major visual element on East Broadway symbolizing and recalling the Jewish history of the Lower East Side. Designed in the Art Deco style with a golden brick façade, the ten-story structure features a unique arched entrance framed by twelve medallions representing the twelve tribes of Israel.
This much-loved building is one of the Lower East Side’s few remaining historic immigrant sites. It broadened New York’s Art Deco’s vocabulary in a dialogue about modernism and tradition through interpreting it with visibly Jewish Deco symbols. Built by a mutual aid society, it teaches us lessons about caring about community. Here laboring trans-national immigrants in the Depression constructed a home for the ill and the elderly in New York’s most famous immigrant neighborhood. It tells us the stories of those who worked there in subsequent generations. And it tells the story of those who live and visit the neighborhood and want its iconic buildings and their history to be part of our lives now and for future generations to see.
Read the Designation Report.
- Joyce Mendelsohn
- Linda Jones
- Mitchell Grubler
Organizations that supported Landmarks Designation of the Bialystoker Home:
- Art Deco Society of New York
- Gotham Center for New York City History/CUNY
- Historic Districts Council
- Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy
- Congregation Kehila Kedosha Janina
- Lower East Side History Project
- Lower East Side Preservation Initiative
- Lower East Side Tenement Museum
- Museum at Eldridge Street
- Bowery Alliance of Neighbors
- East Village Community Coalition
- City Lore
- Place Matters
- Two Bridges Neighborhood Council
- Seward Park Preservation & History Club
- Initiative for a Sustainable Midtown East