The Shively Sanitary Tenements (also known as the East River Homes) are the product of a unique architectural approach to the major societal and medical problems caused by tuberculosis in the early twentieth century. Conceived by the prominent physician Dr. Henry Shively, these buildings embody his progressive ideas for providing a healthful living environment for sick persons as a means of attacking the disease at its source.
The innovative planning ideas of architect Henry Atterbury Smith are incorporated with an unusual facade design which provides a beautiful and sensitive answer to the special needs of the original residents. The conceptions of these men were translated into bricks and mortar through the generous philanthropy of Mrs. William Kissam Vanderbilt. Together these people created an unprecedented group of buildings which maintains its uniqueness in the city even today.
STATUS Designated Individual Landmark
“I don’t know what the City would be without HDC. [They] testified before LPC time after time and helped us focus on the right issues. We would not be an historic district without HDC! ”
Doreen Gallo: DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
“Use HDC as a resource because they know what they are doing and can offer advice on how to go about creating a district from every front: architectural, political, LPC, and the media. I had floundered prior to my involvement with this invaluable organization.”
Fern Luskin: Lamartine Place Historic District; Friends of Lamartine Place & Gibbons Underground Railroad Site
“HDC provided guidance and shared information during that process—we knew which Council members were going one way or another and we changed a few minds. I don’t think NoHo would have had as cohesive a district had it not been for HDC’s aid.”
Zella Jones: NoHo Historic District; NoHo East; and NoHo Extension
“I remember Richard saying at a meeting, we have someone here from HDC, Nadezhda Williams, Director of Preservation and Research, to help us. She said to us, ‘You are not the only ones going through this.’ HDC included us in an enormous community”
Erika Petersen: West End Preservation Society