This week in history: 70 years ago

The following news stories ran in the May 20, 1948 issue of Town & Village.

14th Street Crosstown service extended following wartime shortage of spare parts

The New York City Omnibus Company announced that it would extend its 14th Street crosstown bus service to go from river to river. Previously, it had been running from the East River to Broadway. If commuters wanted to continue crosstown, they would have to transfer. The vice president of the company, F. Baker, explained the reason for the less lengthy route, saying the problem dated back to the war, when the company couldn’t get enough spare parts to keep its fleet of buses running. They ended up with fewer buses, after resorting to stripping some for spare parts.

New VA hospital

The Veterans Administration announced it had obtained a six-acre plot of land from First Avenue to Avenue A and 23rd to 25th Streets for the construction of a new hospital with an expected price tag of $15 million. The hospital would have 1,000 beds, making it smaller than other local VAs (like Kingsbridge in The Bronx with 1,600 and Halloran in Staten Island with 1,500). The nearby Bellevue Hospital had 3,000 beds.

NY Infirmary stays in the neighborhood

The New York Infirmary ended up forgoing a decision to move from the Stuyvesant Square neighborhood to York Avenue and 62nd Street in order to cooperate fully with the Hospital Council of Greater New York, in its effort to space hospitals where they were most needed throughout the city. Mrs. Frank Vanderlip, board of the infirmary’s trustees, announced instead the new facility would be built at 15th Street and Stuyvesant Square.

“With the sharp increase of other hospital services expected in this part of the East Side, the New York Infirmary may look forward to an expanding future, no longer as a women and children’s hospital but as a community hospital,” said Vanderlip.

Garage rate gripe

Town & Village was hearing from a number of residents complaining about the cost of renting a garage space. One resident fumed that when he was first informed of the garages, he was told they would cost about $10 a month to use. But then then he ended up being charged $20.

While costs of operation and construction had gone up since news of the garages was announced, readers still said they felt $20 a month was a bit too much. Instead, they suggested a slightly lower rate in exchange for a commitment to a longer lease.

Meanwhile, Stuy Town garages still were less expensive than those in the immediate area, which averaged $25 a month without service and $40 with service.

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Letter to the editor, May 17

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Sex harassment reforms appreciated

To the editor,

I applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council for their leadership to enact a comprehensive and visionary package of reforms to address sexual harassment in our city.

Collectively, this package of legislation sends a strong message that the workplace must be filled with respect and that violating basic principles of decency will no longer be tolerated. Women’s City Club hopes that this bold action will prompt even further changes in the private sector – and, throughout society.

Carole J. Wacey
President and CEO of Women’s City Club of New York