Dec 13, 1892.


Twelfth St., just east of Second Ave. The address was 307 East Twelfth St.

Built to replace:

The former girls' lodging house at No. 21 (or No. 27) St. Mark's Place.

Construction funded by:

Mary B. Wheeler, Mary B. Ceccarini, and Emily B. Wheeler.

Building dimensions:

Four stories. Ground dimensions: 40 x 103 feet.


Unknown, but there were dormitories on three floors. The Christmas dinner in 1898 served 50-65 girls, but how many of these were lodgers (and conversely, how many lodgers didn't eat there), I don't know.

[Updated Sep. 23, 2008] There were "six private rooms with names like Daisy, Pansy and Forget-Me-Not; there were 58 beds in all" (New York Times, Jun. 8, 2008).

Building notes:

The building was of pressed brick with sandstone trimmings.

Cellar: trunk room, storage room, hot-water furnace, pumping apparatus to supply water.

Basement: 2 dining rooms, kitchen, girls' laundry, lavatory, drying room, large ironing, washing, and drying room for custom work, 2 bathrooms, closets.

1st floor: rooms for typewriting and sewing-machine classes, reception room in rear. Also the office, a reading room, fitting room for dressmaking dept., waiting room for applicants. A tablet on the wall of the main corridor read "This building was erected for the Childrens' Aid Society by Mary B. Wheeler, Mary B. Ceccarini, and Emily B. Wheeler in memory of Elizabeth Davenport Wheeler, 1892."

2nd fl: matron's apartments, girls' sitting room, 2 dormitories, 2 bathrooms.

3rd fl: dressmaking workroom, 5 small bedrooms, 1 dormitory, single rooms, lavatory, and bathroom.

4th fl: 5 dormitories, 2 small bedrooms, 3 single rooms.

What became of it?

In 1901, the Home annexed the one next door, 311 E Twelfth, for additional space.

In 1930, the CAS sold both buildings.

In 1935 there is mention of the American School of Naturopathy and Chiropractic existing at that address, but whether the building was re-built or even the same plot of land (building numbers will sometimes shift over time) is not known. [Update: see the "Still standing" entry below.]

In 1946 the same address became the property of the Florence Crittenton League, turned into a shelter for up to 19 girls at a time (ages 16-21). The shelter later became known as the Barrett House.

Still standing?

Possibly, but it is not clear. If the Elizabeth Home was indeed converted to the Barrett House, then it is still standing; it is today a co-op.

[Updated Sep. 23, 2008] It is, indeed, still standing! My guess that it had been converted to the American School of Naturopathy and Chiropractic and, later, the Barrett House turned out to be correct. In fact, the building was officially declared a landmark on Mar. 18, 2008, making this the second (as far as I am aware) lodging house, of the ones profiled on this site, to become a landmark.

See also:

New York Times (Jun. 8, 2008).

The official Landmarks Preservation Commission report (PDF).


1895 photo and modern-day photo (link to NYT article). Both pictures show the building's front.

The official Landmarks Preservation Commission report contains a modern-day photo, also of the building's front, from a different angle. The final section of the report describes the building's external features, including modifications made over the years from the original structure.

1898 Atlas. A small piece from the Atlas of the city of New York, Bromley, 1898-1899. Notice that the LH occupies both halves of the building, each of which appear on the atlas as 20' wide. No. 311 can be seen to the right. Dumbbell tenements (the rows of buildings with the cross-shaped cutouts)--notorious for their inadequate airshafts which filled up quickly with garbage and which could worsen fires by acting as a flue--are visible farther down the block.