This Week in T&V History

By Sabina Mollot

Town & Village newspaper has been providing news for Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village since 1947 and this week we took a look back to see what was going on in the community 50 years ago. Here are a few stories from the September 2, 1965 issue.

Plea for air conditioning
Despite being a holiday week, this time 50 years ago was actually a relatively busy one in Stuyvesant Town — not to mention hot. One front page story detailed a local politician’s plea to the owner, Met Life, to install some air conditioning. In a letter to a Met Life Vice President for Housing Raymond Ringler, State Assemblyman Paul J. Curran stated, “I realize that the last poll of Stuyvesant Town residents showed that only a small percentage were willing to pay for the extra installation and maintenance costs for air-conditioning. However, that survey took place many years ago and it would seem that a least a new survey is now warranted.” He added that he thought there must be a way to do this while not raising rents too much higher, like only installing at A.C. in certain buildings as Met had done at another property, Parkfairfax Houses in Virginia.

Congressman: Fill in and build housing on East River
A Brooklyn Congress member, Emmanuel Celler, said he expected Congressional action on a proposal to make a stretch of the East River from 17th to 30th Streets non-navigable in order to permit construction of housing, schools and shops. The housing would be for United Nations and Bellevue Hospital personnel as well as middle income residents, and the school on the site would be the proposed United Nations International School. While that portion of the river wasn’t used for navigation, it had been classified as navigable, Celler explained, which is what was keeping any developer from being able to obtain a title for the area. It would be up to Congress to declare it non-navigable, and up to New York Army engineers (headquartered at East 16th Street) to determine the plan’s feasibility before Congress did so.
William F. R. Ballard, the chairman of the City Planning Commission, said that some preliminary discussions had been held on the use of the proposed filled land and that several sponsors were already interested in developing the area, though it would be “premature” to name them.

Candidate Lindsay at opening of Sloan’s
A front page story covered the ribbon cutting at Sloan’s, a new supermarket at 20th Street and First Avenue. Pictured at a photo at the ceremony were a smiling Vincent Albano, a local GOP leader; Max Sloan, the president of the supermarket; and doing the actual ribbon cutting (the second of the day) was the community’s Congress member and Republican-Liberal candidate for mayor, John Lindsay. Controller Abraham Beame, also the Democratic candidate for mayor, conducted the first ribbon cutting of the day and gave out chocolates and lollipops to kids, which were supplied by the store. Lindsay and Beame missed each other by a few minutes. It was Lindsay, a former Stuy Town resident, who got the star treatment though, posing for pictures next to a display of canned Lindsay brand olives (no relation to the candidate) and signing autographs.

Resident accused of fraud
A Stuyvesant Town attorney was one of six men that had been charged with fraud in a federal case for allegedly using over $6,900,000 belonging to VTR, a tire and soft drinks franchise, for their own benefit. Joseph Saik, of 3 Stuyvesant Oval, an officer and attorney for VTR, was named in the civil action brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC accused the men of switching funds without the approval of other directors of VTR, which had offices at 404 Fifth Avenue. The men then were accused of using the funds for various enterprises, including purchases in 1963 of a controlling interest Central National Bank in Jacksonville, Florida.