Posts Tagged ‘alimony club’

Doing time at the Ludlow Street Jail

January 18, 2010

That’s what today’s LES is missing—a city jail.

Opened in 1862 at Ludlow and Broome Street, the Ludlow Street jail was meant for civil rather than criminal offenders—many of whom could pay extra money and get better accommodations. 

And those upgraded accommodations weren’t bad. We’re talking a reading room, grocery store, and cells with comfy beds and curtains. It looks more like a posh university club, according to the illustrations below.

Notable prisoners include notoriously sinister politician William “Boss” Tweed, sent to Ludlow on corruption charges. He died there as well.

There’s also Victoria Woodhull, the first female candidate for president and a free-love advocate, who was accused of sending obscene material in the mail. She was found not guilty six months later.

The jail was also known as the “alimony club,” since many “delinquent husbands” got sent there, as a 1925 New York Times article put it. 

It was bulldozed in the late 1920s. On the site now: Seward Park High School.