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Snug Harbor



History

Snug Harbor was founded by the 1801 bequest of New York tycoon Captain Robert Richard Randall, for whom the nearby neighborhood of Randall Manor is named. Randall left his country estate, Manhattan property bounded by Fifth Avenue and Broadway and Eighth and 10th Streets to build an institution to care for "aged, decrepit and worn-out" seamen. When Sailors' Snug Harbor opened in 1833 it was the first and only home for retired merchant seamen in the history of the United States. It began with a single building, now the centerpiece in the row of five Greek Revival temple-like buildings on the New Brighton waterfront. In 1900, there were approximately 1000 residents, but the population dropped below 200 by the mid-1950s and to 110 by the 1970s. By 1976, the remaining residents had been relocated to a new facility in North Carolina, the city had taken possession of the property, designated several of the buildings as landmarks, and eventually opened the area to public.

Culture

Snug Harbor Cultural Center and the Staten Island Botanical Garden is a nonprofit, Smithsonian affiliated organization that operates Sailors' Snug Harbor. The nonprofit organization's primary purpose is "to operate, manage and develop the premises known as Sailors Snug Harbor as a cultural and educational center and park." In 2005, it was among 406 New York City arts and social service institutions to receive part of a $20 million grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which was made possible through a donation by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Architecture

The five interlocking Greek Revival buildings at Snug Harbor are regarded as "the most ambitious moment of the classic revival in the United States" and the "most extraordinary" suite of Greek temple-style buildings in the country.[10] With the 1833 Building C as the centerpiece, five stately Greek Revival buildings form a symmetrical composition on Richmond Terrace, an eight-columned portico in the center and two six-columned porticoes on either end.

Sailors' Snug Harbor. (2009, January 9). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:38, January 16, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sailors%27_Snug_Harbor&oldid=262891435
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