Wednesday, November 7, 2012

☞ REMEMBER: The Colored Orphan Asylum

Carmansville was a focus of a current historic drama called Copper that aired this year and the topic of  the Colored Orphan Asylum came up. Most of Harlem still consisted of vast country estates in the mid 19th century and many asylums were established in uptown's bucolic setting.  New York City's infamous draft riots shamefully destroyed the original location of the Colored Orphan Asylum on 5th Avenue in what is today midtown and a new institution building was set up in West Harlem.

Research shows that the new building was at 143rd Street and 10th Avenue which would have been Amsterdam. One will find at the top image an etching which was apparently the asylum in an early stage for a second wing was added to the main building based on the second photo. Today, the area consists mostly prewar buildings on the main avenue and the original country setting has long disappeared.

Further south, a very similar looking Hebrew Orphan Asylum once stood well into the early 20th century: LINK

Last but not least, Columbia Universtity also has a remnant of the Bloomingdale Insane Asylum since the campus was actually built on that estate's land: LINK

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