Historic, but not famous

By Not stated - Thomas Maurice Mulry: https://archive.org/stream/thomasmauricemul00meehuoft#page/n5/mode/2up, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35953052Thomas M. Mulry was born in New York City and his early school-days were spent in St. Joseph’s parochial school and then at De La Salle Academy.  In 1874, he joined the St. Vincent de Paul Society, an international organization of Catholic laymen dedicated to helping the poor. A successful businessman and banker, he devoted extensive time and resources to charitable work.

On October 6, 1880 he was married to Mary E. Gallagher and they set up a home in Greenwich Village. Mulry became a director and for ten years president of the Emigrant Industrial Saving Bank, the largest institution of its type in the world. He was also a director of the Mutual License Insurance Company and served for many years on the General Committee of Tammany Hall.

His charitable activities led President Theodore Roosevelt to name him vice-chairman and presiding officer of the first White House Conference on the Care of Dependent Children in 1909.

Please follow and like us:
Historic, but not famous

Philip H. Martiny, sculptor

Philip H. Martiny (Alsace, 19 May 1858 – 1927) was a Franco-American sculptor who worked in the Paris atelier of Eugene Dock, where he became foreman before emigrating to New York in 1878—to avoid being drafted into the French army.

In the US he often worked in cooperation with architects in Beaux-Arts architecture. He had a sculpture studio in McDougal Alley, a former mews behind Washington Square Park. Much of his work is in New York City, though he provided bas-reliefs for the Art Institute of Chicago and for government buildings in Washington, DC.

Though he was a member of the National Sculpture Society, Philip Martiny was not considered by his contemporaries as a sculptor of the first rank. When he received the job of completing the designs for the New York City Hall of Records (later the Surrogate’s Court) after the death of the architect, many architects raised serious objections. He was associated with Tammany Hall who assigned him the project. The New York Art Commission had authority to accept or reject sculpture by Martiny for the building. Daniel Chester French, one of the most prolific and acclaimed American sculptors of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, best known for his design of the monumental work, the statue of Abraham Lincoln (1920) in the Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC was called in to approve the Martiny sculptures. Martiny finished the work in 1907.

After World War I, Martiny received two commissions for colossal figures commemorating the fallen soldiers: the Chelsea Park Memorial, at 28th Street and 9th Avenue and the memorial in Abingdon Square Park, where 8th Avenue begins.

Please follow and like us:
Historic, but not famous

Big Tom Foley (1852-1925) was a Tammany Hall district leader and saloon owner. Foley used his Tammany Hall political connections to help win the governorship of New York for fellow Irishman Al Smith, and later backed Smith’s unsuccessful bid for the presidency.

Mr. Foley has become a controversial figure because of his Tammany Hall connection, but does have Foley Square (the site of his last saloon and political gathering place) where the court houses and Federal Building sit in downtown Manhattan named after him.  

He left school at age 13 to support his widowed mother, working for a time as a blacksmith’s helper. “’Big Tom’ was a square-shaped, mustachioed, quiet man who spent most of each day at the Downtown Tammany Club listening to the cries for help — for a boy who had been arrested, for a process server who had been fired, for a policeman who had been shifted to a Staten Island beat — with unfailing patience. Although his saloons thrived, he was to die a poor man, their profits trickling, along with the payoffs and the campaign contributions, through his fingers into those of his constituents.” (The Power Broker by Robert Caro)

Please follow and like us: