This week in T&V history: MetLife Chairman Ecker dies

By Seth Shire
Town & Village newspaper has been providing news for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village for over 65 years and we’ve decided to start taking a look back to see what was going on in the community 50 years ago. Here are a couple of snapshots from the March 26, 1964 issue of Town & Village.

Ecker Obituary
This issue of T&V had an obituary for Frederick Hudson Ecker, 96, honorary chairman of Metropolitan Life who, the story claims, was “most responsible for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village.”
Reading about Mr. Ecker provided an interesting contrast between what Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village originally stood for and what the two developments have since become. The article quotes from a bronze plaque, which, it explains, was placed at the base of the flagpole in Stuyvesant Oval on August 30, 1947, on the occasion of Mr. Ecker’s 80th birthday. An excerpt from the plaque says that Mr. Ecker “brought into being this project, and others like it, that families of moderate means might live in health, comfort and dignity in parklike communities, and that a pattern might be set of private enterprise productively devoted to public service.”
Nowhere does the plaque mention the deregulation of apartments, sub division of apartments or admitting entitled, inconsiderate, drunken, improperly raised college students who treat our home as if it were their dorm. The plaque, unfortunately, has been gone from the grounds since 2001. Surprising?

Typewriter stolen
This 1964 edition of Town & Village reports crimes and money lost.
“Mr. Charles Schlichtger, 280 Avenue C, reported to police that a typewriter had been stolen from his locker in the motor repair shop at the same address.”
Fifty years ago, the theft of a typewriter might be the equivalent of someone’s laptop being stolen. Today, I don’t think one could even give away a typewriter, much less have one stolen.
Another incident in that week’s blotter noted that two people were missing money, one of which was due to a robbery at 129 Third Avenue, which at the time was the Blue Sea Restaurant. The blotter said that a porter at the restaurant was held up by “two male Negroes” who stole two cases of whiskey and some cash.
Funny; in all of my research through old police blotters, I do not recall seeing any crime reports in which the perpetrators were identified as Caucasian or white.