The historic Eastern Dispensary Building at 75 Essex Street – home of Eisner Bros. – will soon undergo major redevelopment to add a ten-story protrusion to its rooftop. Fresh off this news, which broke earlier this month, we thought it appropriate to revisit a Bowery Boogie entry from nine years ago detailing the history of this non-landmarked landmark.
Reposted below with slight edits for context.
I decided recently to take another look at some old notes about 75 Essex Street (aka 232 Broome). Here’s some in-depth insight as to why this unique, freestanding structure at the corner of Essex and Broome Streets should be protected.
The Eastern Dispensary (also known as the Good Samaritan Dispensary) was established in 1832 to provide the sick and poor with a place to receive aide and medicine. It opened during a massive cholera epidemic “that claimed the lives of more than 3,500 people, mainly destitute Irish immigrants crammed into filthy hovels in the fourth and sixth slum wards of downtown Manhattan.” The dispensary was at first on Grand Street and eventually moved to 75 Essex in 1890, the year the building was built.
Helen Campbell, a 19th century missionary, described its patients