Jacob Schiff, philanthropist

Jacob Henry Schiff (born Jakob Heinrich Schiff; 1847 – 1920) was a Jewish-American banker, businessman, and philanthropist. Among many other things, he helped finance the expansion of American railroads. He was born in Germany and migrated to the United States after the American Civil War and joined the firm Kuhn, Loeb & Co on Wall street. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in September 1870 Mr. Schiff was the most well known and influential Jewish leader from 1880 to 1920 in what later became known as the “Schiff era”, grappling with all major Jewish issues and problems of the day, including the plight of Russian Jews under the Tsar, American and… Read More

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Augustus Ludlow, War of 1812

Augustus C. Ludlow (1 January 1792 – 13 June 1813) was an officer in the United States Navy during the War of 1812. He was born in Newburgh, New York and was appointed midshipman when he was 12. He received a commission to be a lieutenant at age 18. Ludlow was second in command to Captain James Lawrence on the USS Chesapeake during the ship’s engagement with HMS Shannon on June 1, 1813. It was to Ludlow that Lawrence said “Don’t give up the ship.” Both Ludlow and Lawrence were mortally wounded in that battle, and Ludlow died in Halifax, Nova Scotia on June 13, 1813. Lieutenant Ludlow was buried together with Captain James Lawrence and Lawrence’s widow, in the… Read More

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Alexander Sender Jarmulowsky, founder bank and synagogue

Alexander Sender Jarmulowsky (1841-1912) was born in Russia, in an area that is now part of Poland and moved to the United States in 1873. He rose from being a penniless orphan at age 3 to becoming a Talmud prodigy to ending his life as a wealthy Lower East Side banker and “macher.” Mr. Jarmulowsky bought steam ship tickets in bulk and sold them to other immigrants at a reduced price prior to his family moving from Germany to the United States. Once in NYC, he opened an office at 54 Canal Street, an immigrant “bank” that provided a place for… Read More

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Louis Allmendinger, architect, Mathews Model Flats

Louis Allmendinger, architect, designed and developed housing  in 1908 and 1911, setting the standard for future tenement construction. The homes  are characterized by three-story tenement buildings featuring yellow and orange Kreischer-brick facades, stone details, pressed-metal cornices, and ironwork at the stoops and area-ways. They are prevalent in Long Island City, Ridgewood and Woodside Queens. The buildings, known as “Mathews Model Flats,”  (built by Gustave X. Matthews) at a cost of $8000 each. They constituted better-quality housing than previous tenement models, providing larger rooms and private bathrooms. The tenements attracted working-class German immigrants from nearby Bushwick, Williamsburg, and the Lower East… Read More

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Lower East Side Walking Tour

This former immigrant neighborhood is now a trendy shopping and nightlife district. See where old New York meets today’s city. The Lower East Side is a neighborhood that best embodies the history of immigration to New York.  Since the mid-19th century, Manhattan’s Lower East Side has welcomed people from all walks of life seeking their American dream. On this tour we will explore what life was like on the LES from the early days, to the tenements and finally to the gentrification taking place on the LES today. We will also have the chance to sample some of the local… Read More

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