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Bialystoker Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing (aka Bialystoker Home for the Aged)

About this listing

Threatened historic Lower East Side elder care facility

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Lower East Side
Institution, Healthcare & Wellness

Place Matters Profile

Written by Joyce Mendelsohn

"Cast me not off in the time of old age," Psalm 71

The Bialystoker Center was constructed 1929-1931 as a facility to care for the elderly in the familiar surroundings of their neighborhood and one that would be easily accessible for visits from family and friends. It is a rare surviving headquarters of a "landsmanshaft" (Yiddish for "mutual aid society") and one of the few remaining structures that reflects the history and culture of caring for generations of Jewish immigrants on the Lower East Side. In announcing plans for this endeavor, they declared, “Our Home will combine modernity with compassion – a Home with a Heart that will stand as a monument for succeeding generations.” Harry Hurwit, the architect of several smaller buildings in the neighborhood, designed the striking ten-story structure with ornament expressing its religious heritage. Opening day on June 1, 1931 was a festive occasion for the Jewish population of the Lower East Side

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Nominations

Friends of the Bialystoker Home

The Home functioned for 80 years, until October, 2011, when residents were vacated to other facilities and the building and adjoining garden were advertised for sale as, “a highly desirable development site.” Neighborhood and preservation groups are mounting a campaign for landmark designation to preserve this historic structure. The destruction of this building would be an irreplaceable loss for the community and for the Jewish legacy of the neighborhood. (October 2011)


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