Landmarking Eastern Dispensary Building

February 3, 2014 rev.

Honorable Robert Tierney, Chair 
New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission 
1 Centre Street, 9th Floor 
New York, NY 10007

Re: Landmark Designation: Eastern Dispensary Building, 75 Essex Street, Manhattan

Dear Chair Tierney:

I am writing to support Individual Landmark designation for the Eastern Dispensary Building at 75 Essex Street in Manhattan.

The building remains very much intact from its original 1890 construction. Designed by architects Rose and Stone, it has a simple yet strong Italianate style architecture enlivened by ground floor rusticated masonry and arched windows. It has a notably commanding presence on the street, and serves as a vivid reminder of the immediate area’s important immigrant history. 

One of a relatively small number of dispensary buildings created during the late 18th and 19th centuries by the city to assist the healthcare of poor residents, the Eastern Dispensary exemplifies the early phase of New York’s then increasing sense of charity and civic responsibility. In our time, when the role in government in helping the poor and providing health care is frequently subject to fierce debate, historical markers such as this provide a critical lesson in the successes and failures of past attitudes, policies and institutions. 

The building is within the Lower East Side National Register Historic District, and was listed as a site with architectural / historic significance in the Seward Park Mixed-Use Redevelopment Project’s Environmental Impact Statement. We respectfully request that the Commission act to designate the building an Individual Landmark at the earliest opportunity. Thank you.


Richard D. Moses 

Cc: Councilmember Margaret Chin, New York City Council 
Susan Stetzer, Manhattan Community Board 3