Who built New York: Jewish builders in the interwar decades.
Chanin's timing was propitious. The end of World War I released a flood of construction in New York City--residential, commercial, and industrial. During the 1920s, New York City, housing a small fraction of the American population, accounted for twenty percent of new residential units in the United States. Encouraged by ten-year tax abatements, builders covered vast tracts of land in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens with a mix of one, two, and multi-family houses. At the same time, substantial sections of Manhattan, such as the Upper West and East Sides, along with Washington Heights, attracted builders eager to erect both upper-class and middle-class apartment buildings in place of single-family brownstones and private luxury houses. Jewish builders, who entered the city's real estate and construction industry in the nineteenth century, often building and remodeling tenements for the enormous influx of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, expanded their activities even as newcomers like Chanin joined their ranks. (5) Jeffrey Gurock's masterful history of Jews in Harlem, for example, uncovered how Jewish involvement in construction often led to Jewish residential concentration. (6) As the pace and extent of construction increased, Jews gradually moved from being outsiders to the industry. They became insiders within their own extensive and burgeoning ethnic network that included architects, mortgage firms, and building-supply companies. Apartment buildings, 39 percent of new residential construction in 1919, soared to 77 percent during the peak year of 1926. Jewish builders participated in this transformation of New York from a city of mansions and tenements to one that offered a wide array of housing choices geared to a tenant's socioeconomic standing. (7) They also built up significant segments of midtown Manhattan, fashioning a new cityscape in response to changing trends in diverse industries where large numbers of Jews worked.
Construction remained Chanin's passion and he soon shifted his focus to Manhattan, erecting a new center for the fur industry in 1924 in what was becoming the heart of the needle trades in midtown. Then, he decided to build theaters in the emerging theater district around Times Square. Chanin "enjoyed the city and mass culture. He had nothing to lose," observed Diana Agrest, "and everything to gain, and so he did." This "love for the multifaceted aspects of city life" informed his most important contributions to New York's cityscape. As Agrest notes, "theater is an essential component of the life in the city, both as a reflection and creation of the spectacular." (8) Commercial entertainment also attracted many Jews as producers and owners of theatrical chains. (9) Theatrical flair undoubtedly influenced Chanin's other buildings as well, especially the desire to create "a world of fantasy in which the architectural styles were there to be used in the most eclectic manner in order to provide the public with a world out of the routine of their everyday lives." (10) Remembering how much he disliked the separate entrances for cheap seats in the gallery, Chanin eliminated them in his theaters. "We made a sign when we started that theater," he recalled. (11) "At my theaters," he explained, "the girl from the five-and-ten and the richest aristocrat in town enter by the same door. My theory is that people go to the theater to be happy and to forget their troubles. They can't do this if they are physically uncomfortable or mentally irritated." (12)
Chanin put his money where his mouth was. Each of his theaters, which he owned as well as built, possessed excellent sight lines and acoustics, with only a single balcony. The auditoriums had wider seats and more legroom. He also built for different kinds of plays: large halls for musicals, medium sized ones for comedy and drama, and one intimate hall for serious plays. Chanin considered all potential patrons to be "part of the audience" irrespective of the size of their pocketbooks. Over the course of several years, from 1924 to 1927, he erected six playhouses. His extensive building in Times Square secured its character as the site of legitimate theater in New York, complemented by his construction of the Hotel Lincoln on 8th Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets. The Lincoln connected with three of the theaters. (13) Chanin also constructed three huge movie palaces, including one on Broadway for the impresario Samuel Rothafel. A palace of mass culture, the 6000-seat Roxy was dubbed a "Cathedral of Motion Pictures." Equipped to handle multimedia spectacles, it preceded Radio City Music Hall (Figures 1 & 2). (14)
So the four-week trip to Paris as a successful builder in his early thirties and a married man with children, offered an opportunity to savor some of the rewards of his accomplishments in the construction industry. As New York City was being built up in the 1920s, New York Jews were helping to change the physical character of the city. Not only in new neighborhoods emerging in Brooklyn and the Bronx, but also in the heart of Manhattan, Jewish builders left their stamp upon the city, especially its ethnic business cultures. Building for where Jews would live and work, they transformed mundane New York into a modern city. The historian Max Page described this typical process of tearing down old structures in order to erect new ones as "creative destruction" that insured the economic vitality of Manhattan and its relevance to new generations of city workers. (15)
The sociologist Nathan Glazer has argued that Jews made a significant difference in three areas of New York's history: its politics, culture, and economy. As a city en route to becoming a world-class metropolis of eight million, New York differed from other global cities like London and Tokyo because Jews were such a significant minority of its population. "The issue of course is not simply that New York is ethnically unrepresentative," relative to other major American metropolises, he wrote, "it is that a marked distinctiveness in political orientation, occupational pursuits, and cultural tastes distinguishes American Jews from their fellow Americans." (16) When this distinctiveness combines with population concentration as it does in New York, it influences the nation and not merely the city.
Although Glazer saw the large impact of New York Jews occurring after World War II, even in the interwar years New York Jews made the city different in certain segments of its economy and culture. In addition, they shaped its physical dimensions, creating streetscapes that came to characterize specifically Jewish residential neighborhoods and industrial districts. Despite constraints on Jewish occupational choices, and in part because self-employment through family firms appeared to many entrepreneurial Jews to offer the only opportunity for socioeconomic mobility, New York Jews shaped aspects of the emerging cityscape. Where Jewish workers and manufacturers predominated--in fields like the needle trades, printing industry, jewelry production, and commercial entertainment--Jewish builders transformed their industrial districts in Manhattan. "Indeed, no place in the United States more fully reflects the interrelationship of Jews and American capitalism than New York City's Garment District," argues the architectural historian, Andrew Dolkart, "for it is a neighborhood largely created by Jewish developers who employed many Jewish architects to design the factory and showroom buildings leased to Jewish-owned businesses that employed primarily Jewish workers." (17)
Jews also changed the character of residential housing, especially in sections of Brooklyn, the Bronx, and parts of Queens. (18) In these cases, builders anticipated population movement, constructing speculative buildings that would become the basis for Jewish neighborhoods. In the process, Jews introduced standards that would define both middle class living and upper class urban luxury as well as aesthetics that conveyed what it meant to be modern and up-to-date. Of course, in all cases, zoning laws restricted height and mass of commercial office buildings and factories, and tenement laws governed residential construction, not only height and mass but also plumbing, ventilation--especially light and air--heating, and fireproofing. What Jews built reflected their ambition and vision within standard urban constraints. As one chronicler of New York residential builders observed, "the builder determines the size, appearance and manner of the structure; this is obvious. But it is not so obvious that he determines the class of people who would seek to live on his property." (19)
And this is where Chanin's trip to Paris becomes relevant, because he did not just take a vacation. Rather, he took something of a busman's holiday and attended the Paris Exposition international des arts decoratifs et industriels modernes (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) where he discovered what would become known as art deco. Chanin was smitten. When he returned to New York City he determined to build a big office building on 42nd Street on the east side, across town from his theaters. Still, he couldn't resist integrating some art deco motifs into interiors of the conventionally designed hotel by Schwartz and Gross that he was building on 8th Avenue. In 1927, he acquired a leasehold on a square block near Grand Central Station and its continental train service. (20) Located on the corner of 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue, it held the Manhattan Storage Warehouse. Chanin tore down the warehouse and over the course of two years he rapidly constructed a 56-story building, a monument to art deco design and his own achievements. Chanin was not a registered architect, so he could not actually design the building, but he had an architectural unit in his company, headed by Jacques Delamarre. Chanin hired the mainstream New York architectural firm of Sloan and Robertson, which had designed the nearby Graybar building, to look over the plans and be responsible for the exterior. But he held on to the interior design and exterior decoration, employing Rene Chambellan, an architectural sculptor as well as Delamarre (Figures 3 & 4). (21)
He named the building after himself, a practice followed by many Jewish builders. It housed the offices of his firm and boasted an elegant lobby with metal grill work, marble panels, and curved sculptural forms. Chambellan and Delamarre collaborated on the design of the window frames and lanterns, the doors, elevators, and especially the sculptural reliefs and bronze grilles adorning the foyers inside the building entrances. These symbolically portrayed various aspects of the theme "City of Opportunity," telling "the story of a city in which it is possible for a man to rise from a humble station to wealth and influence by sheer power of his mind and hands." (22) Hammered metal motifs banded the first floor exterior. Marble walls and inlay floors covered the lobby. Interiors of each of the twenty elevator cabs differed one from the other, though all were finished with imported woods. (23) High up on the 50th floor Chanin installed an elegant silver and black auditorium, available for tenant use. Soon "word got around about the qualities" of this theater with its perfect acoustics and its dressing rooms that looked out on the city. Famous classical musicians and orchestras performed there. (24) The building's light brick exterior used setbacks as required by New York's zoning law, starting at the 18th story. The tower began on the 30th story and ran uninterrupted to the 52nd story. A handsome tribute to art deco architecture, the Chanin building reached 56 stories, exceeded in height only by the Woolworth building downtown and the Metropolitan Life Tower near Madison Square. It marked the first skyscraper in midtown when completed in January 1929. A battery of 212 floodlights illuminated its tower at night, emphasizing its dramatic appeal and inaugurating a practice that would subsequently be adopted by other skyscrapers (Figure 5). (15)
In fact, very soon the Chanin building's contribution to the theater of the city acquired rivals. Within two years the Chrysler Building across 42nd Street eclipsed its prominence and outdid the Chanin building in art deco exuberance. Further south on 34th Street the Empire State building grabbed the title of the world's tallest building in 1931 before the Depression definitively put a damper on most construction in the city.
Chanin then shifted his focus to elegant apartment buildings, although he did not initially intend to apply art deco style, identified with office construction and hotel and restaurant interiors, to residential quarters. In 1929, he acquired two buildings on Central Park West, the old hotel Majestic at 72nd Street and the Century Theater ten blocks south. (26) The following year he became a registered architect, which allowed him to design as well as build his projects. At both sites, he dropped his original plans, due to the Depression, and shifted to art deco styled apartment buildings. Chanin trumpeted the employment he provided at pre-Depression wages; he also completed both buildings quickly, within a year of finishing their steel frames. (27) The 29-story Majestic apartment building boasted two towers, a feature allowed by new laws increasing the height of residential buildings as long as they included setbacks. Chanin also introduced such elements as solaria and corner windows. Other Jewish builders of apartment houses would subsequently copy these art deco innovations, especially corner windows, albeit on a more modest scale. (28) Chanin completed the Majestic first and employed fewer art deco elements than he did on the 32-story Century. This building presented a banded brick design and curved cantilevered balconies. It offered 52 styles of apartments of two to seven rooms, not as large as comparable apartments in the Majestic. The Century also proffered such features as sunken living rooms, free-standing showers, and creak-proof hardwood floors. Both buildings used courtyards to guarantee light and air to all rooms, in addition to their towers. (29) Both differed dramatically from the more stolid apartment buildings designed by Schwartz and Gross that could be found throughout the Upper West Side. And both offered magnificent views of Central Park, along with all of the latest amenities in apartments. (30) Chanin moved into a tower apartment in the Century, even though he lost control of the building in 1933 (Figure 6).
Chanin built his Brooklyn and Manhattan projects during a flurry of construction in the 1920s. In 1925, the Real Estate Record noted that there were some forty construction projects in an area bounded by 5th Avenue on the east, 9th Avenue on the west between 23rd and 40th Streets. (31) A year later it reported that since most of the lofts on 7th and 8th avenues had been completed, building had shifted to the side streets in the 30s, almost all of which had structures under construction. (32) The range of Jewish builders involved in erecting the new garment district varied widely. Construction of garment factories attracted expanding family firms like that of Julius Tishman, which not only built but also owned the buildings. Others, like Abraham Lefcourt, began as a cloak and suit operator before moving into construction. He built eighteen loft and office buildings, most of them between 1920 and his death in 1932. Some were "on a huge scale, with an aggregate of 5 million square feet of floor space, or 115 acres, spread over 477 floors, occupied each day by two hundred thousand people." (33) However, smaller Jewish construction companies also erected buildings, often assembling a package for a garment firm, such as the Kaufman Dress Company. (34)
These large-scale industrial lofts in midtown targeted a thriving clothing industry, enticing firms to move from cast-iron buildings along Broadway and its side streets below Union Square uptown to a new garment district. The firms occupying these loft and office buildings appreciated their convenient location along the IRT subway. This line stretched all the way up through the rapidly changing Upper West Side to the expanding Bronx. Its mix of express and local train service allowed both workers, who lived in new Jewish neighborhoods in the Bronx, and manufacturers, who lived on the Upper West Side, to get to work quickly and conveniently. (35) A 1925 sample of Jewish households in the latter neighborhood revealed that half of them were garment manufacturers. Only ten years earlier, a mere three percent worked in this occupation. (36) Thus the growth of a new garment center in midtown accompanied expansion of multifamily residential construction on the Upper West Side as well as in the west Bronx. Subsequent construction during the Depression of the Independent subway line along 8th avenue (Central Park West) and up through Washington Heights and the Grand Concourse similarly spurred additional residential building. (37)
These new garment center lofts did not resemble Henry Ford's automobile assembly line factories in Detroit. Ford's enormous River Rouge plant, for example, started its production process with the raw materials to make steel. By contrast, most needle trades buildings provided floors ranging in size from 6,500 to 4,400 square feet. (38) The buildings were fireproof, had adequate electric wiring, light from large windows, not to mention steam heat, ample lavatories, both freight and passenger elevators, and facilities like showrooms for buyers, including those coming from out of town and arriving at the nearby Pennsylvania Station, completed in 1910. Hotels in the area included the McAlpin, Imperial, Pennsylvania, and Waldorf-Astoria. (39) Garment industry firms flourished, especially women's wear companies, through creativity and flexibility, not scale. In the 1920s, jobbers "exacerbated the subcontracting structure and cutthroat competition endemic to the industry. As jobbers pitted contractors against each other, they also expanded the growing separation between production and sales." Historian Nancy Green explains the shifts occurring in the industry in New York. "Interwar jobbers directly supervised cutting and perhaps finishing, but subcontracted out the sewing. Their small cutting shops and showrooms became increasingly concentrated in the midtown garment district," she observes, but sewing was sent out via trucks downtown, to outlying boroughs, and across state borders. (40)
The new construction of garment buildings reflected this process. Those manufacturers of women's clothing that were dictated by fashion couldn't afford to be separated from the jobbers. So they moved north. Thus the needle trades concentrated in a new garment district, soon to be labeled Seventh Avenue, while at the same time clothing production dispersed throughout the city. "The newer steel-framed buildings above Fourteenth Street had their own appeal: They were better fireproofed and had more floor space than the older, cast-iron structures," Green observes. "And some of the larger and lighter loft buildings were constructed by successful coat and suit manufacturers themselves--who, along with some Jewish builders, began turning to real estate investment." (41)
Manufacturers paid union wages, although in the late 1920s strikes rocked the garment industry, as did competition between communists and socialists for control over the unions. Increasingly in the 1920s, sales by jobbers emphasized the importance of showrooms. (42) The new buildings blended office and showroom spaces alongside lofts for manufacturing. Most were brick with modest terra cotta adornment; all were of fireproof construction, a heritage of the disastrous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. They had fire towers for speed in putting out fires and fireproof stairs, complete sprinkler systems, and elevators with safety devices. Some eschewed any wood inside the buildings to enhance their fireproof character. Unlike Chanin's office building, most adhered to a modest architectural style, occasionally influenced by gothic ornamentation. These utilitarian buildings, usually less than twenty stories tall, seemed modern largely in contrast to the older buildings downtown. (43)
Chanin was not, of course, the only Jewish construction company working in Manhattan. Julius Tishman was building both commercial and residential properties, and, like Chanin, he subsequently owned and managed many of his buildings. One of his garment industry buildings, designed by the Jewish architectural firm of Schwartz and Gross, went up on the corner of 37th Street, a million dollar building. It emphasized showrooms and offices, absolutely fireproof construction with no woodwork in the entire structure. The building included both a basement and sub-basement. Sixteen stories high, its first setback occurred on the 11th floor. The top five floors were most desirable; however, Tishman expected tenants to take full floors when the building was completed in October 1920. (44) A Jewish electrical contracting firm, Oberg, Blumberg, and Bleyer took out an ad that promoted the building and, of course, their work in providing the electricity. In the 1920s, before the Edison company consolidated so many firms, New York's many electrical companies competed to provide electricity to its commercial and residential buildings. The advertisement touted Oberg, Blumberg, and Bleyer's commercial engineering for electric lighting, heating, and equipment requirements. (45)
Not all buildings were built on spec. I. Goldberg, who was in the feather business, decided to invest in a building on 38th Street, around the corner from Tishman's. Goldberg named the building after himself and planned to occupy part of it while leasing other floors. He worked with the Jewish architectural firm of Edward Blum and S. Walter Katz to get a building specifically designed for millinery production. It included a special sub-cellar with controlled heat and humidity to preserve his stock of ostrich feathers. Ostrich feathers were exceptionally popular on hats, and also valuable as a commodity. (46) The fireproof, twelve-story Goldberg building was designed in Gothic style. Despite its location midblock, Goldberg did not expect that the building would lose light since there was a low building on one side. Such optimism assumed that the pace of construction in the garment industry would slow. In fact, it continued until most blocks presented a solid wall of 12 to 20 story buildings, limiting light to the street front. (47) Those streets throbbed with crowds, trucks, and "push boys" moving racks of garments. At lunchtime, the numbers of people increased exponentially as workers flooded the sidewalks to talk, to catch some air, and to take a break. (48)
Jewish builders also constructed factories designed for the printing industry as well as for jewelry production, both fields with many Jewish owners and workers. In the case of printing, builders used structural steel and reinforced concrete to support heavy printing presses. In addition to hot and cold water, special acid proof soil lines to carry off liquid wastes from printing presses were installed since printers needed these features. Like the needle trades, the printing industry also moved north from lower Broadway and cast iron buildings. The Lanbaer building, constructed by Lanbaer, occupied a site opposite the new home of the New York Tribune. (49) Similarly, the jewelry district relocated north of 42nd Street. In 1923 the old Baptist church on 46th Street where John D. Rockefeller had conducted his Bible class, was torn down for a new "high class" building devoted to jewelry and novelty dealers. (50)
As Jewish builders were transforming Manhattan's west side south of 40th Street with an expanded and modernized garment industry district and an equally modernized printing industry, they were also changing the character of residential areas in the Bronx and Brooklyn, and, to a lesser extent, in Queens. Although Jewish builders constructed modern tenements in both boroughs during the 1920s, two types of buildings stand out as distinctive during the interwar years: elevator apartment buildings for the middle class and cooperative apartment buildings for the working class. These quintessential "background buildings" defined New York's modern cityscape. (51) Both types of multifamily dwellings would come to characterize New York City in the postwar years, while tenement construction would gradually cease, due in part to more stringent laws governing multifamily buildings. However, both types of multifamily residences drew on elements introduced in luxury apartment building construction, characteristic of the Upper East and Upper West Sides.
In an article on luxury residential construction in 1924, the Real Estate Record and Guide highlighted those builders who had successfully erected apartment buildings and apartment hotels that adhered to new housing guidelines under what was called the Tenement House Law. I. Flugelman explained that at his 15-story buff brick apartment hotel at 12 East 86th Street fronting Madison Avenue, "every rule and regulation of the law has been carried out." These included setbacks and courtyards that allowed every room, including bathrooms, to have a window. Legislation also mandated windows in public halls for ventilation and light. Furthermore, in larger apartments of three or more rooms, at least one bathroom should be reached through a hall and not through a bedroom, another provision of the building code. Of course, apartment hotels provided additional amenities. These types of buildings appealed especially to wealthy couples, who did not want to bother with housekeeping chores, marketing and cooking, and even supervising servants. They preferred to have the hotel staff take care of their apartment suite. The apartment hotel on Madison and 86th Street, for example, included a large kitchen, commissary, and spacious dining room for its residents. However, in addition, it offered tenants small individual kitchens should they wish on occasion to cook for themselves. On Madison Avenue, the building's ground floor housed diverse stores, including a meat market, vegetable market, druggist, and bank. (52)
The elegance of an 86th Street and Madison Avenue apartment did not extend to more modest buildings, such as the one constructed by Jacob Kahn on west 71st Street between Broadway and Columbus. This nine-story building, valued at $800,000, with an estimated annual income of $78,000, held 63 apartments. Each apartment consisted of a living room, one or two bedrooms with bathrooms, and an eat-in kitchen, or what was billed as a "combination kitchen and breakfast room." In a sign of its middle class character, servants' rooms were located on the roof. The economic wherewithal to employ at least one regular servant to take care of housekeeping and, occasionally, childcare, signified middle class standing in these years. By contrast, luxury apartment buildings on Park Avenue included multiple servants' quarters within each apartment, usually a room or two off of the kitchen. Yet Kahn relied on both the same Jewish architects, Schwartz and Gross, to design his building and the same Jewish underwriting firm, S. W. Straus, for the first mortgage. (53)
Other buildings aimed for the upper- middle-class rental market, between Park Avenue luxury and middle class comfort. A fifteen-story apartment building at the corner of 73rd and West End Avenue, for example, added to that street's "veritable canyon-like appearance of high class multi-family homes." Milton M. Silverman and his son, Junior, constructed and owned the building. They turned to George and Edward Blum as architects, another Jewish firm that designed many residences in the city. More conservative than Schwartz and Gross, Blum and Blum inclined toward gothic design. For this building, however, rather than putting the servants' quarters on the roof, they chose to create a roof garden and accompanying penthouse apartment of eleven rooms, recognizing the potential value of space that previously had been wasted. The apartments available varied in size from six rooms to nine-room duplexes on the upper floor. Like many such buildings, it included ground floor suites with separate entrances for professional offices, such as doctors. (54)
This range of new buildings, including, of course, apartment hotels, came to characterize the Upper West Side in the years after World War I. Relatively undeveloped prior to the war--except for brownstone construction on the side streets, tenements on Columbus Avenue where the elevated trains ran, and a few large apartment houses--the neighborhood attracted both Jewish builders and Jewish tenants. Of the seventeen largest apartment houses in 1930, Jews were 100% of the tenants in one building, 75% of the tenants in two, 50% of four more, and 33% of the tenants of the remaining ten. "The most homogeneous Jewish buildings," observes historian Selma Berrol, "were tenanted by East European Jews and located furthest north on West End Avenue." By the 1930s, Jews made up a majority of Upper West Side residents. They were able to find multi-family residential buildings tailored to their income in one of Manhattan's wealthiest neighborhoods. (55) Although art deco design as typified in the Majestic and Century characterized few buildings, all of them boasted modern amenities. These included refrigerators in kitchens, RCA's "antenaplex system" that distributed high quality radio signals from a rooftop master antenna into each apartment, ample closet space, tiled bathrooms and built-in medicine cabinets, hardwood floors, and foyers to separate public living rooms from private bedrooms. Also included were features mandated by law, such as windows in all of the rooms, central steam heating, public halls at least three and a half feet wide, and fireproofing elements. (56)
Heading north to the Bronx, Jews could find more new residential housing, albeit usually on a less imposing scale, such as a 1920 award-winning apartment building on the Grand Concourse at 167th Street. Built by Hyman Berman and designed by Springsteen and Goldhammer, this five-story brick and limestone apartment building cost only $175,000 to erect. It marked the beginning of new construction in the Bronx after the war. On a relatively narrow lot, the building eliminated rear apartments associated unpleasantly with tenements and both front and back of the building received the same brick treatment. However, this was not a fireproof building. Its 45 apartments of three to five rooms each with baths, rented for the substantial sum of $25 per room, albeit less than apartments on the Upper West Side. (57)
Two years later, Samuel Minskoff put up the first million-dollar apartment building further north on the Grand Concourse, at Kingsbridge Road. Minskoff, who had a relatively large firm, turned to associated Jewish architects Irving Margon and Charles Glaser to supervise the design. Unlike Berman's award winner, this nine-story building was fireproof and featured elevators and wiring for telephone and intercom service. It restricted the number of apartments to thirteen per floor, giving each unit its own a wing of the building. Inside, apartments ranged in size from two rooms, with bath and kitchenette, to six rooms, with two baths. Advertised amenities included a steam laundry in the building, a centralized vacuum cleaning system, closets with automatic lights, tiled kitchens, and bathrooms. It even promised individual thermostats to regulate the heat, not something regularly available to city tenants. In short, it offered upper middle-class features in a utilitarian design, meant to appeal to prospective residents based on apartment amenities rather than on the building's external appearance. Myron Minskoff, Samuel's son, recalled that his father advised him, "'Women will teach you how to build apartments; get their complaints, remember them and you will be a good builder.'" (58)
Later in the decade, the Concourse would become known for its art deco architecture, for the dramatic style introduced in Chanin's Majestic and Century apartment buildings. Emery Roth's apartment building at 888 Grand Concourse, completed in 1937, exemplified this design. Situated at the corner of two blocks, residents entered the building at its corner, through a curved tiled entrance set with bands of silver leading to a large doorway. The six-story building held eighty-four apartments with sunken living rooms and rounded corner windows. A decorative frieze swept along between the fifth and sixth floors in the front of the building. A vivid theatricality animated the overall design and offered a lively backdrop to Jewish neighborhood life that flourished on the Concourse. (59)
But the Bronx housed workers as well as middle-class Jews. New working-class housing challenged basic capitalist assumptions of Jewish builders, namely, that they owned property, constructed buildings, and rented apartments to make money. Jewish workers of different political persuasions agreed to build cooperative apartment houses where workers would not only own their apartments but also share in forming a radical community. Journalist Calvin Trillin astutely observed, "in the late twenties, a Jewish garment worker who wanted to move his family from the squalor of the Lower East Side to the relatively sylvan north Bronx could select an apartment on the basis of ideology." Not only did the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union sponsor cooperative housing (once New York State passed legislation permitting limited dividend residential construction), but so did the Jewish Butchers Union and the Typographical Union. (60) "An adherent of the Labor Zionist movement could go to the Farband Houses," Trillin wrote. "A follower of Hayim Zhitlovsky, the leader of a movement absorbed with the preservation of secular Jewish culture, could live in a cooperative called the Sholem Aleichem Houses." Even a radical Communist, "who continued to defend the Soviet revolution after other Socialists had turned against it, someone who subscribed to the Morgen Freiheit, a Yiddish daily that was then faithfully pro-Soviet, and read the Forward only to see what the enemy was up to--could move to the Workers Cooperative Colony." (61) The enthusiasm for cooperative housing, however, ran afoul of the Great Depression. Most of the cooperative experiments defaulted on their mortgages and were taken over by private landlords. The Amalgamated coop, because it had support in part from the Amalgamated bank and the Forward Association, in addition to loans from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, hung on, helping its cooperators with generous terms and not pressing them for on-time payments. (61)
Abraham Kazan, one of the advocates of cooperative housing, continued to champion its virtues for working men and women. In 1929, the Amalgamated constructed additional housing at its site near Van Cortlandt Park, this time building apartments with self-service elevators in contrast to the original six buildings, which were five-story walk-ups. Yet even the original apartments had windows in every room, cross ventilation, bathtubs, kitchens with iceboxes and gas ranges, hot and cold running water, and electricity. In 1927, of the initial three-hundred families who moved in, a third came from the Lower East Side, a third from the Bronx, and a third from Brooklyn. Almost all were union members. As it gradually introduced more amenities, it still emphasized the benefits of cooperation. These included a cooperative kosher meat and poultry market, a cooperative grocery, and fruit and vegetable store. The coop arranged for collective purchases of milk and ice. These cooperative endeavors reflected a blend of political commitments to cooperation together with pragmatic responses to an absence of stores in the area. Until a new public school opened, the coop ran a bus service to take children to school and bring them home again. The coop also allocated 14,000 square feet for shared space to house a library, music room, indoor playground, gym, and assembly hall. A local group formed a chorus; there were staged dramatic productions in Yiddish and English as well as Sunday lectures on diverse topics and art exhibits by Jewish artists. In short, its vision of community exceeded that of other apartment buildings. Cooperation meant more than having a single electrical meter for the entire complex. (63)
By the 1930s, the Amalgamated was exporting its vision to other sections of the city, especially the Lower East Side. The union incorporated the Amalgamated Dwellings Corporation, headed by Sidney Hillman, who also led the union. Springsteen and Goldhammer, who designed the first Amalgamated coops, took over the design of what became known as the Grand Street Houses on the site of the old R. Hoe & Company printers. Continued success downtown combined with ongoing expansion in the Bronx secured for the Amalgamated Dwellings recognition that a cooperative enterprise could provide decent housing for working class families. While subsequent cooperatives did not have all of the shared features of the Bronx original, these buildings' blend of modern up-to-date apartments with shared public spaces exerted a powerful appeal. At the Grand Street Houses, for example, a roof garden substituted for the garden plots in the Bronx. To appeal to families with children it offered a baby carriage garage in the basement with room for three hundred carriages. (64)
Brooklyn Jewish builders of multifamily dwellings favored the larger avenues such as Eastern and Ocean Parkway as well as Ocean Avenue and more distant sections of the borough. In the 1920s most of the apartment buildings, such as the George Washington Apartments across from the Brooklyn Museum, resembled more modest Upper West Side or Washington Heights buildings. However, near the end of the Depression decade, Jewish builders started to erect more ambitious structures, such as the Manhattan Beach Apartments on Shore Boulevard. While both the George Washington and Manhattan Beach buildings were six stories, the former, erected by Kellner Brothers and Sons, designed by Charles B. Meyers, offered apartments of three to seven rooms with one or two baths. (65) By contrast, the latter, built by Kenin and Posner and designed by Samuel Malkind, listed an array of attractions that might be said to define aspirational middle-class living. These included direct access to each room from the foyer, Venetian blinds, tiled bathrooms with built-in medicine cabinets and concealed clothes driers, hampers and linen closets, colorful linoleum in the kitchen along with insulated table top gas ranges, steel sink cabinets, and mechanical refrigeration, radio outlets and switched electric outlets (to turn on lamps upon entering a room). Of course, cross ventilation and heat provided by oil burners were touted along with a laundry in the basement, four automatic elevators, four incinerators, and a playground for children. Finally, these "open terrace" apartments promised arched openings and 24-hour uniform door service. The size of apartments ranged from one room to four and a half rooms, indicating the increasing costliness of space, even way out on Shore Boulevard. The builder/owners also promised careful, responsible management with "suitable references" required of prospective tenants. Such language disguised any discriminatory renting criteria for buildings ostensibly available to all New Yorkers who could afford them. (66)
As these brief examples demonstrate, and they could be multiplied many times over and extended to include single and two-family houses in Brooklyn and Queens as well as other commercial structures in those boroughs, Jewish builders left a decisive imprint on New York's cityscape and its standards of living. On occasion, as along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, that impact registered not just in types of apartment buildings but also in their style--in this case the art deco style popular in the late 1920s and through the 1930s. Most often, what mattered were the interiors of buildings. Whether designed for needle trades showrooms and shops or for residential living, Jewish builders' designs, amenities, and construction catered to Jewish needs and tastes. As those needs and tastes evolved throughout the interwar decades, changes occurred, but Jews consistently sought buildings that could be characterized as modern. Occasionally this translated into "new," but more often it referred to amenities valued and mandated by law: light and air (i.e., ventilation), fireproofing, plumbing and heating, electricity. Once these basic modern standards were met, features varied with income. As with fashion, styles and standards of apartment living filtered down from luxury multifamily dwellings to upper middle-class and then to middle-class tenants. Eventually, even workers who purchased cooperative apartments acquired many middle-class amenities in addition to shared public spaces unavailable in more expensive middle-class and even luxury buildings. Location mattered, as usual.
In the interwar decades, Jews built significant and enduring segments of New York City. Their activities in construction helped retain the garment, printing, and jewelry industries in Manhattan to the frustration of urban planners. These men, supported by financial and commercial interests, championed a vision of the city that dispersed industry to the outer boroughs, keeping Manhattan for white-collar employment. Jewish builders, on the other hand, developed modern apartment buildings as attractive homes for middle and upper class families. Many second generation (and some immigrant) New York Jews made themselves at home in these new neighborhoods. This trend of actually choosing to raise families in apartment buildings decisively crossed the grain of a standard American practice that favored single-family homes for upwardly mobile and affluent families. Widespread construction by Jewish builders of apartment buildings on Manhattan's Upper West and East Sides, in Washington Heights, along the Concourse and throughout the West Bronx, and in Brooklyn, insured that New York City would remain a city of renters. Postwar rent controls subsequently extended the life of these neighborhoods, transforming large upper middle-class apartments on the Upper West Side, for example, into middle-class family bargains. Extensive interwar construction also meant that generations of New Yorkers would grow up on streets lined with six-story buildings, or, in fancier neighborhoods like along West End Avenue, with fifteen-story buildings. These apartment buildings formed the dominant cityscape of Manhattan, much of the Bronx, and segments of Brooklyn and Queens for decades, until legislation allowed for construction of tall towers, kitchens without windows, and interior bathrooms with fans for ventilation. Buildings built by Jews, both commercial and residential, shaped the consciousness of New Yorkers, gave form to street life viewed from below, guided the play of light and shadows, and helped to define what it meant to be a city resident.
Jewish workers contributed a different and equally influential vision of the city, not one of landlords and renters, but of cooperatives, where residents shared ownership and responsibilities for their housing. Despite a rocky beginning, cooperatives' impact on the city registered increasingly in the postwar decades when Federal housing legislation facilitated their expansion in the context of urban renewal. Jewish builders built many of these postwar cooperatives. Tishman, for example (the next generation, not Julius), constructed Southbridge Towers, designed by a Jewish architectural firm, Gruzen & Partners, at the edge the financial district. These types of cooperative housing developments continued to shape the cityscape according to new criteria of healthful, modern living. (67)
The cooperative idea gradually filtered upward, even to those living in luxury apartment buildings. The coop form, if not the coop spirit, acquired a reinterpretation as another expression of capitalism. It facilitated upgrades to many solid, if stolid, middle-class rental buildings. However, transformation of old rentals into cooperatives rarely moved smoothly. Chanin's Century Apartments provides a telling example. In 1982, as the city was gradually recovering from its financial crisis, an investment group purchased the Century apartment building for $36 million. A year later, these new owners offered to sell the building to its tenants, transforming it into cooperative, for $110 million. Century residents protested at this proposed effort to flip the building, complaining in court that conditions had deteriorated in the fifty-year-old building. Eventually in 1989, one of the longest conversion struggles ended when tenants of just over half of the buildings' 410 apartments agreed to purchase their individual apartments at prices significantly below market value. The investment group saw their $36 million dollar investment reach $140 million, $30 million more than they had originally hoped to obtain from the building. At the same time, a number of these new cooperators immediately turned around and sold (flipped) their apartments for profits exceeding $1 million. (68) Such an understanding of housing cooperatives stood a significant distance from the vision propounded by Kazan and the Amalgamated Union's leaders.
Jewish involvement in the construction industry--as builders, architects, bankers, and workers--began in the nineteenth century and continued throughout the twentieth. The interwar decades illuminate a piece of a complex history, revealing the impact of Jews on New York's physical growth. In choosing to focus on Jewish builders and the Jewish architects with whom they worked, this article highlights a distinctive aspect of the interwar decades when so many New York Jews left other occupations to enter the building field as independent family firms. Some headed into real estate, others focused on construction, but the most influential men chose to build and own their buildings. Collectively they exerted an outsized influence on the city, endowing it with ethnic Jewish dimensions by catering to Jewish industries and Jewish residents. Sometimes they put their names on the buildings in tribute to the opportunities the city had given them. In this respect, the Chanin building represented more than a story of a single Jewish builder's rise to fame and fortune. It also stood for aspirations of many other Jews who appreciated and marveled at what they, too, might accomplish in New York.
Increasingly, Jewish builders had a sense that, brick by brick and block by block, they were putting their stamp on this great world hub. They did good work, making handsome, safe places where they were proud to have their own offices, places where they were happy to live, and places to rent to friends and relatives. New York's interwar construction epitomized for many Americans the essence of urbanism. The mix of tall buildings--residential, industrial, and commercial--along with the pace of life lived on streets bounded by these buildings, conveyed what a big city, an American metropolis, should be.
(1.) I am grateful for the research assistance of Sarah Zarrow in preparing this article.
(2.) Chanin's father, Simon, was a contractor in Bensonhurst in the 1890s, and went back to Poltava with a savings of $10,000. His son, Irwin, born in the U.S., was sent to private school because the government school wouldn't take him. The Russian Revolution of 1905 and loss of money propelled the family back to Bensonhurst in 1907. Henry went to business school. Nivon Busch, Jr., "Skybinder," from The New Yorker, January 26, 1929, republished in Irwin Chanin, A Romance with the City: Irwin S. Chanin (New York: Cooper Union Press, 1982), 17.
(3.) Chanin Building, Landmark Preservation Commission Hearings, November 14, 1978, Designation List 120, LP-0993, 1.
(4.) "Brooklyn's Highest Office Development to Cost $5,500,000," Real Estate Record and Guide, March 7, 1925, 9.
(5.) Harry Fischel was a very successful exemplar of this immigrant group of builders. See Harry Fischel, Forty Years of Struggle for a Principle: The Biography of Harry Fischel, ed. Herbert Goldstein (New York: Bloch Publishing, 1928).
(6.) Jeffrey S. Gurock, When Harlem Was Jewish, 1870-1930 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979). More recently he has expanded on the discussion in The Jews of Harlem: The Rise, Decline, and Revival of a Jewish Community (New York: New York University Press, 2016) and in Jews in Gotham: New York Jews in a Changing City, 1920-2010 (New York: New York University Press, 2013). This article pays tribute to his innovative and important work on New York Jewish history.
(7.) Deborah Dash Moore, "On the Fringes of the City: Jewish Neighborhoods in Three Boroughs," in The Landscape of Modernity: Essays on New York City 1900-1940, eds. David Ward and Olivier Zunz (New York: Russell Sage, 1993), 254-55.
(8.) Diana Agrest, "A Romance with the City: The Work of Irwin Chanin," in A Romance with the City, 10.
(9.) See, for example, Andrea Most, Theatrical Liberalism: Jews and Popular Entertainment in America (New York: New York University Press, 2013).
(10.) Agrest, "A Romance with the City," 10.
(11.) Quoted in David W. Dunlop, "Irwin Chanin, Builder of Theaters and Art Deco Towers, Dies at 96, New York Times, February 26, 1988, accessed March 9, 2016, http:// www.nytimes.com/1988/'oil'26/obituaries/irwin-chanin-builder-of-theaters-and- art-decotowers-dies-at-96.html.
(12.) Quoted from "The Chanins of Broadway," American Magazine, August 1928, in Diana Agrest, "A Romance with the City: The Work of Irwin Chanin," in A Romance with the City, 10.
(13.) Ever the showman, Chanin opened the hotel the day after Lincoln's birthday and had Governor Al Smith throw the switch in Albany to illuminate its large rooftop neon sign. In 2016 the hotel still stood, now called Row NYC. "Row NYC Hotel," accessed August 2, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Row_NYC_Hotel.
(14.) Agrest, "A Romance with the City," 10.
(15.) Max Page, Creative Destruction of Manhattan (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000).
(16.) Nathan Glazer, "The National Influence of Jewish New York," in Capital of the American Century: The National and International Influence of New York City, ed. Martin Shefter (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1993), 167.
(17.) Andrew S. Dolkart, "From the Rag Trade to Riches: Abraham E. Lefcourt and the Development of New York's Garment District," in Chosen Capital: The Jewish Encounter with American Capitalism, ed. Rebecca Kobrin (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2012), 64.
(18.) Jewish involvement in residential construction in Queens during the interwar years was much more limited than in Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn. Franklin J. Sherman, Building Up Greater Queens Borough (New York: Brooklyn Biographical Society, 1929) chronicles the biographies of only thirty-one Jews out of 165 builders of Queens, and several of the thirty-one are lawyers and building-supply owners, not builders.
(19.) Emphasis in the original. Sherman, Building Up Greater Queens, 62.
(20.) The construction of a new Grand Central Terminal and the decision to cover the extensive New York Central railroad tracks augured a building boom in this section of midtown in the 1920s. Donald Miller, "Built for Business: Midtown Manhattan in the 1920s," Entrepreneur, accessed August 2, 2016, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/239257.
(21.) Landmarks Preservation Commission, Chanin Building, November 14, 1978, designation list 120, LP-0993, 1-2.
(22.) C. Adolph Glassgold, "The Decorative Arts," in The Arts, April 15, 1929, quoted in Landmarks Preservation Commission, Chanin Building, November 14, 1978, Designation List 120, LP-0993,1-2
(23.) Busch, Jr., "Skybinder," quoted in A Romance with the City, 19.
(24.) Agrest, 13.
(25.) City of Opportunity in 8 reliefs and grilles: The evolution of a mind bent on achievement--Enlightenment, Vision, Courage, and Achievement. The evolution of the physical side of success--Endurance, Activity, Effort, and Success. Agrest, 58- 59. A promotional brochure reproduced in A Romance with the City, indicates that Chanin targeted realtors, advertising agents and publishers, statisticians and accountants, and "big business" as potential tenants. The building was part of the expansion of midtown as a business district that "housed prestigious law firms, big advertising agencies, headquarters of national and international corporations and branch offices of downtown banks and brokerage houses." Miller, "Built for Business."
(26.) In order to acquire the Century Theater, owned by the Schubert organization, Chanin was forced to sell his ownership in three of his Broadway theaters to Schubert. See Landmarks Preservation Commission, Century Apartments, July 9, 1985, Designation List 181, LP-1j17, p. 4.
(27.) New York Times, November 9, 1930, quoted in "The Century (Central Park West, Manhattan)," accessed March 15, 2016, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_ Century_%28Central_Park_West,_Manhattan%29.
(28.) Landmarks Preservation Commission, Majestic Apartments, March 8, 1988, Designation List 201, LP-1518, 1-5. Report prepared by Andrew Dolkart.
(29.) Landmarks Preservation Commission, Century Apartments, July 9, 1985, Designation List 181, LP-1517, 1-5. Report prepared by Andrew Dolkart.
(30.) Robert A. M. Stern, Gregory Gilmartin and Thomas Mellins, New York 1930: Architecture and Urbanism Between the Two World Wars (New York: Rizzoli, 1987), 410.
(31.) "Garment Center leads City in Construction Activity," Real Estate Record and Guide, May 23, 1925, 7.
(32.) Real Estate Record and Guide, March 22, 1926 in article on Mirken building.
(33.) Dolkart, "From the Rag Trade to Riches," 64.
(34.) For a sense of the number of different Jewish builders and architects, see Real Estate Record and Builders Guide, May 2.3, 1925, 7, 9, which mentions Kaufman Dress Company and S. S. Roth as builder, as well as Tishman, Henry Greenberg of Arsenal Building, Rosenthal and Herring, Jacob Dorf, Manuel Goldberg, and David Zimmerman, and Abraham Bricken. The architects mentioned include Schwartz and Gross, Blum and Blum, Shampan and Shampan, and Charles B. Meyers.
(35.) The BRT line and 6,h Avenue Elevated also brought workers to the new garment center. See "Another Model Building for Needle Trade Center," Real Estate Record and Guide, November 20, 1920, 717.
(36.) Selma C. Berrol, "The Jewish West Side of New York City, 1920-1970," The Journal of Ethnic Studies 13:4 (Winter 1986): 29-30.
(37.) On the history of the subways see Clifton Hood, 722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993).
(38.) Joseph P. Cabadas, River Rouge: Ford's Industrial Colossus (Detroit: Motorbooks, 2004).
(39.) On hotels see "Another Model Building for Needle Trade Center," Real Estate Record and Guide, November 20, 1920, 717.
(40.) Nancy L. Green, "From Downtown Tenements to Midtown Lofts: The Shifting Geography of an Urban Industry," in A Coat of Many Colors: Immigration, Globalism and Reform in the New York City's Garment Industry, ed. Daniel Soyer (New York: Fordham University Press, 2004), 34.
(41.) Green, "From Downtown Tenements to Midtown Lofts," 33-35.
(42.) See Nancy L. Green, Ready to Wear, Ready to Work: A Century of Industry and Immigrants in Paris and New York, (Chapel Hill: Duke University Press, 1997), 58-60 on union struggles in the 1920s and organization of industry split between jobbers and subcontractors, or sales and production, and on the need for flexibility.
(43.) "Large Midtown Commercial Project Nearly Completed," regarding another Tishman building on West Street. Real Estate Record and Guide, October 28, 1922, 564.
(44.) "Work Started on $1,000,000 Office and Showroom," Real Estate Record and Guide, February 14, 1920, 219. See also "Large Midtown Commercial Project Nearly Completed," regarding another Tishman building on West 36th Street. Real Estate Record and Guide, October 28, 1922, 564.
(45.) Advertisement in Real Estate Record and Guide, featuring Tishman building.
(46.) On the ostrich feather trade and Jewish involvement see Sarah Abrevaya Stein, Plumes: Ostrich Feathers, Jews, and a Lost World of Global Commerce (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008).
(47.) "New Building for Millinery Trade in Midtown District," Real Estate Record and Guide, June 30, 1923, 817.
(48.) Dolkart, "From the Rag Trade to Riches," 62.
(49.) "Another Modern Printing Building in Times Square District," Real Estate Record and Guide, June 28, j923, 785.
(50.) "New Office Building for Jewelry and Novelty Dealers," Real Estate Record and Guide, September 22, 1923, 374.
(51.) Moore, "On the Fringes of the City," 254-55.
(52.) "Four Residential Buildings Win Official Praise," Real Estate Record and Guide, July 23, 1927, 7. The other three were: Concourse Plaza (Bronx) an apartment hotel, and two apartment buildings, Iris Gardens at 625 West x59th Street (Manhattan), and 180 Chrystie Street (Lower East Side).
(53.) "Construction Started on Upper West Side Apartment," Real Estate Record and Guide, January 28,1911, 106.
(54.) "West End Avenue's Latest Apartment House Operation," Real Estate Record and Guide, March 20, 1926, 7.
(55.) Berrol, "The Jewish West Side," z8-3z, quotation 31.
(56.) See for example, "West End Avenue's Latest Apartment House Operation," Real Estate Record and Guide, March 20, 1926, 7. See advertisements for RCA's "Antenaplex" in Real Estate Magazine, January 1930, 39, featuring the Century Apartments.
(57.) "Architectural League Awards Medal for Best Apartment," Real Estate Record and Guide, September 24, 1921, 393. More than 80% of Upper West Side tenants paid over $100 per month whereas 50% of Grand Concourse tenants paid between $50 and $100 per month. See Berrol, "The Jewish West Side," 30.
(58.) "Million Dollar Apartment First of Its Type in the Bronx," Real Estate Record and Builders Guide, March 18, 1920, 329; quote from obituary, Eric Pace, "Myron Minskoff, 83, of a Family of Builders," New York Times, December 25, 2000.
(59.) Steven Ruttenbaum, Mansions in the Clouds: The Skyscraper Palazzi of Emery Roth (New York: Balsam, 1986), 7, 50, 67.
(60.) The New York State Housing Law of 1916 provided for the establishment of a State Board of Housing that granted twenty-year tax exemptions to projects that limited investors to a six percent return, admitted low-income tenants, and kept monthly rentals below $12.50 per room. Richard Plunz, A History of Housing in New York City (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990), 151.
(61.) Calvin Trillin, "U.S. Journal: The Bronx," The New Yorker, August 1, 1977: 49.
(62.) Cooperators were required to pay $500 per room, and then $11 per room for rent. If they could not pay the initial investment, the Amalgamated bank and the Forward Association fronted the money, with generous terms for repayment. Katherine Eva Rosenblatt, "Cooperative Battlegrounds: Farmers, Workers, and the Search for Economic Alternatives" (PhD diss., University of Michigan, 2016), chapter 2, 102.
(63.) Ibid., 106-111.
(64.) Ibid., 114-115.
(65.) "Large Brooklyn Multi-Family Project Nearing Completion," Real Estate Record and Guide, August 26, 1922, 276.
(66.) Manhattan Beach Apartments, 10 Shore Blvd., 40 Shore Blvd., "Manhattan Beach Apartments", Item 1, Image 4, YR.0525.BR.001.004, New York Real Estate Brochure Collection, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, accessed 15 March 2016, http://nyre.cul.c0lumbia.edu/images/view/2053.
(67.) "The Southbridge Towers Story," accessed August 19, 2015, http://www.southbridgetowers.com/about.,us/default.aspx. The buildings were designed by Gruzen & Partners, a Jewish company. Jordan Gruzen and his father Barnett Gruzen designed so many buildings in the civic heart of New York that the NY Times architecture critic dubbed the area, which included Southbridge, "Gruzen Country." See David W. Dunlop, "An Architect's Legacy of Solid Design and Optimism," New York Times, February 4, 2015, accessed August 23, 2015, NY/Region section, http://www.nytimes.c0m/2015/02/05/nyregion/from-the-architect-jordan -gruzen-a-legacy-of-solid-design-and-optimism.html?_r=o.
(68.) "The Century (Central Park West, Manhattan), accessed March 15, 2016, https:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Century_%28Central_Park_West,_Manhattan%29.
Caption: Figure 1. "Roxy Theater and Rockefeller Center." Samuel H. Gottscho (1875-1971)/Museum of the City of New York, 184.108.40.2063.
Caption: Figure 2. "Roxy Theater. Lobby from above." Samuel H. Gottscho (1875- 1971)/ Museum of the City of New York, 220.127.116.119.
Caption: Figure 3. Chanin Building, 12.2 East 42nd Street. Edmund Vincent Gillon/ Museum of the City of New York, 2013.3.1.608.
Caption: Figure 4. Chanin Building from above, 42nd Street (east), Lexington Avenue, southwest corner. Photographic Views of New York City, 1870S-1970S, from the Collections of the New York Public Library/Manhattan, n.d. 1507919.
Caption: Figure 5. View northeast from Empire State Building with Chanin Building illuminated (Chrysler Building behind it). Samuel H. Gottscho (1875-1971)/ Museum of the City of New York, 34.102.11.
Caption: Figure 6. Central Park--The Majestic Apartments. Hans W. Hannau. Photographic Views of New York City, 1870s-1970s, from the Collections of the New York Public Library/Manhattan, n.d. 718281F
Caption: Figure 7. George Washington Apartments, 175 Eastern Parkway. Wurts Bros. (New York, N.Y.)/Museum of the City of New York, X2010.7.1.5856.
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|Author:||Moore, Deborah Dash|
|Publication:||American Jewish History|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2017|
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