FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE contact: Mitchell Grubler 212-226-2233 photos attached

Historic Lower East Side Building Endangered
The former Good Samaritan/Eastern District Dispensary building at 75 Essex Street was put on the market for 21 million dollars following the recent announcement of the mega development called Essex Crossing on the long vacant Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA). The historic building stands just across Essex Street from, and surrounded on two sides by the planned Essex Crossing development. “Due to the endangered status of this important building in this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, Friends of the Lower East Side has embarked on a campaign to save the Good Samaritan/Eastern District Dispensary building,” said Mitchell Grubler, a founding member of the grassroots organization founded in 2011 and dedicated to preserving the architectural and cultural heritage of this historic center of immigrant life. When it opened in 1890 at the northwest corner of Essex and Broome Streets, in a neighborhood composed mainly of rows of tenements, Good Samaritan/Eastern District Dispensary was one of the finest buildings in the city erected for medical care. Distinguished architects Rose & Stone designed the four-story building in the style of a freestanding Italianate palazzo with a symmetrical façade of orange and tan brick with brownstone trim. It continued to function here for more than 60 years as a place where impoverished people of all ages, who were particularly vulnerable to life threatening contagious diseases, could find free or low-cost care. Financing for the land and building was raised through private contributions; annual operating expenses were funded by the city. “The former Good Samaritan/Eastern District Dispensary building is a rare surviving example of municipal responsibly and philanthropic concern and stands as an eloquent testimony to what made New York City a pioneer in progressive social change in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” wrote Joyce Mendelsohn, author of The Lower East Side Remembered and Revisited. After the facility closed in the 1950s, the building was converted to store, office and storage space. It is currently owned by Eisner Brothers, a sportswear retailer. In January, Friends of the Lower East Side appealed to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to calendar the historic building as a first step toward landmark designation, however, to date that has not happened. For more information and photos the organizations website is www.friendsofthelowereastside. Interested parties are urged to write to the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission to act quickly to calendar the dispensary and recognize its historic and architectural significance with landmark designation. Letters should be sent to Hon. Robert B. Tierney, Chair NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, One Centre Street, 9th floor North, New York, N.Y. 10007 OR e-mail: info@lpc.nyc.gov . Please cc Friends of the Lower East Side: friendsoftheles@gmail.com , Council Member Margaret Chin: chin@council.nyc.gov and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver: silver@assembly.state.ny.us . - end -

Former Good Samaritan/Eastern Dispensary

Former Good Samaritan/Eastern Dispensary

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