Posts Tagged ‘Lower East Side Germans’

The fight over naming Lenox Hill Hospital

June 25, 2010

It started out in 1857 on Canal Street as the German Dispensary.

As the city’s German population moved north, the dispensary did too, first to East Third Street, then Second Avenue and St. Marks Place, and finally in 1905 to Fourth (Park) Avenue and 77th Street.

But in 1918, with anti-German sentiment raging, the dispensary got a more palatable name: Lenox Hill Hospital.

In 1925, the war long over, many hospital trustees, most of German descent, wanted the name changed back.

It wasn’t a nationalistic thing so much as a cash donation one. “Last year the deficit had grown to $50,000,” reported a New York Times article. “[a hospital trustee] felt certain that the resumption of the word ‘German’ in the hospital’s title would have a marked financial effect.”

The name switch didn’t fly though, and Lenox Hill Hospital is still based on 77th Street.