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Twin-Pines - Symbolize the mutual nature of cooperation.... click to learn more

Co-op Village Online Community

an independent resource for residents of Amalgamated Dwellings,
East River Cooperative, Hillman Cooperative and Seward Park Cooperative

About this Symbol

 

More Than Just a Name

Many of our buildings - and our co-ops themselves - are named
after individuals and unions that were active in the
early labor movement (late 1800s to mid 1900s)



L to R: Amalgamated, Hillman, East River
click image to enlarge

Amalgamated Dwellings

Named for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, Amalgamated Dwellings is the second cooperative housing development sponsored by the union. The first was Amalgamated Housing Cooperative - Bronx, which opened in 1927. Our Amalgamated Dwellings opened a short time later, around 1930. On its tenth anniversay, a plaque was placed at the corner of Grand and Columbia Streets, honoring the members of its original board of directors: Henry Bruere, Adolph Held, Sidney Hillman, Abraham E. Kazan, and Robert Szold.

East River

Originally, the signs outside East River's buildings displayed "ILGWU Cooperative Village" - named for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, which sponsored this development. The "ILGWU" has since been blacked-out on the signs.

Each of East River's 4 apartment structures is named after individuals involved in the labor movement. There is a plaque, with a bust of the person or persons, near each building's center entrance. Unfortunately, these are partially or completely obstructed by trees or shrubs:

Hillman

The co-op is named after Russian-born Sidney Hillman, who was associated with the International Lady Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) and who later became the president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. There, he was instrumental in pioneering education and social programs for workers, including low-cost cooperative housing. Sidney Hillman was one of the original members of the board of directors at Amalgamated Dwellings (see above).

Each of Hillman's three structures is named after an individual and a cornerstone at the base of each building lists the date it opened and the name of the individual it is named for:

Seward Park

Seward Park is named after William H Seward. Well, technically, it's named after the park (Seward Park) which is adjacent to the property and which is named after William H. Seward. Seward was a native of this country, born in Florida. Seward was appointed Secretary of State by Abraham Lincoln in 1861 and negotiated the purchase of Alaska in 1867. In addition, he served as Governor of New York and U.S. Senator. A statue of William H. Seward sits at the south-west corner of Madison Square Park, in Manhattan (near the intersection of 23rd Street, 5th Ave and Broadway.

As of this writing, there is no evidence to indicate that the individual structures of Seward Park were named after individuals. However, each of the 4 buildings has a different claim to fame. Inside each lobby, is a mural by artist Hugo Gellert. The murals each span the width of the central lobby area and depict Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. A controversy over the fate of the murals is currently brewing as Seward Park considers plans to renovate the lobbies.

 

Co-op Village History
More Than Just a Name
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