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Eastern District/Good Samaritan Dispensary (former)

About this listing

One of the citys oldest municipal health care centers for the poor

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Lower East Side
Institution, Social Movements, Euro/ American, Healthcare & Wellness

Place Matters Profile

Written by Joyce Mendelsohn

Eastern District Dispensary was established on Grand Street in 1832, during a major cholera epidemic that claimed the lives of more than 3500 people, mainly destitute Irish immigrants crammed into filthy hovels in the fourth and sixth slum wards of downtown Manhattan. It was the third dispensary in the city; New York Dispensary, White & Centre Streets, founded in 1791 was the first. Dispensaries were municipally funded, medical walk-in facilities, offering free or low-cost care to the poor, and post-graduate training for young doctors. Dispensaries, such as Northern Dispensary (165 Waverly Place, established in 1824, building erected in 1831) and Elizabeth Blackwell’s NY Dispensary for Poor Women and Children (207 East 7th Street, established in 1853) were located in impoverished immigrant neighborhoods to serve people living and working in crowded quarters who were particularly vulnerable to life threatening contagious diseases like cholera, diphtheria, yellow fever, typhoid,...

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Nominations

Nominated by Friends of the Lower East Side


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