Some were founded by nonsectarian organizations; others by religious orders.
All sound pretty heartbreaking—but at the time, they were progressive institutions where orphans and “half-orphans” could live, go to school, and learn a trade rather than fall victim to the streets.
It was “where Hebrew orphans and indigent boys and girls are sheltered and educated,” states King’s.
The Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum opened this home (right) for girls in 1870.It’s on Madison Avenue and 51st Street; the boys building is down the block at Fifth Avenue.
“In both the boys’ and girls’ departments, provision is made for the technical instruction of the inmates,” says King’s. “The work is carried on with a thoroughness which is characteristic of the Catholic Church in other directions.”
I think it’s the same orphanage called St. Ann’s Home for Destitute Children in King’s, as the address is the same.
King’s describes it as “a large and cheerful edifice with accommodations for nearly 300 inmates.”
Below is the third incarnation of the Colored Orphan Asylum, first opened in 1837 on Sixth Avenue and 12th Street.
The orphanage moved to bigger digs on Fifth Avenue and 43rd Street—but that building was burned to the ground during the Draft Riots of 1863, one of the city’s most shameful moments. (None of the kids were hurt.)
The orphanage moved uptown to 143rd Street, shown here in 1874.
[All photos: NYPL Digital Gallery]
Tags: Colored Orphan Asylum, Draft Riots 1863, Hebrew Orphan Asylum, King's Handbook of New York, New York in 1892, Orphanages of New York City, Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum, St. Ann's Home for Destitute Children