Chelsea Health CenterWurts Bros. Negative #813786
The neighborhood news source “Our Town” reports that in Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia’s speech at the dedication of the Chelsea Health Center on July 14, 1937, he “…insisted that he shouldn’t be praised for building the center – it was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal…that made it possible.” In 1934 the Mayor announced plans to build eight district health centers. The Chelsea clinic was the third of these Depression-era clinics to be built. The Mayor filed the plans for the Chelsea clinic in 1935. The plans were for the construction of a “… a three-story clinic on 9th Avenue and 27th Street, at a cost of $175,000.” The project featured funding provided by the Public Works Administration (PWA).
The construction of the clinic was part of a larger city-wide public health initiative. The Center for Architecture’s website explains that “…at the beginning of the 20th century, under the visionary leadership of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, the City of New York engaged major architects of the time to design neighborhood health centers that would serve as hubs for New York City’s groundbreaking urban public health initiatives that were subsequently replicated worldwide. These facilities played a central role in the City’s successful campaigns to virtually eradicate TB, diphtheria and polio, and substantially reduce infant mortality and the incidence of syphilis in the first half of the 20 century.”
"Our Town: The Roots of the Chelsea Health Center", last accessed March 2016
"The Center for Architecture," New York, last accessed March 2016
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