The Andrew Freedman House

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The Andrew Freedman Home is a  New York City Designated Landmark. The money to build it was bequeathed by businessman Andrew Freedman. Located at 1125 Grand Concourse in The Bronx, New York City, New York, the Andrew Freedman Home was designed as a retirement home for wealthy individuals who had lost their fortunes.

The trust that operated the Andrew Freedman Home ran out of money in the 1960s. The home was reopened in 1983 for all elderly individuals, regardless of past financial status. As of 2012, the Andrew Freedman Home serves as a day-care center and event space.

HISTORY

During the Panic of 1907, Andrew Freedman, a self-made millionaire, came to the realization that he almost lost his entire fortune. He feared what would have happened to him in his later life without his wealth. As a result, he developed the idea of a charitable trust to build a home for older individuals who had lost their fortunes, where they could live in their retirements.

When Freedman died in 1915, his estate was worth over $4 million ($90,800,000 in current dollar terms). Samuel Untermyer served as executor of his estate.

In his will, Freedman bequeathed money to build the Andrew Freedman Home at 1125 Grand Concourse in The Bronx. The home was intended to serve as a retirement home for “aged and indigent persons of both sexes”, who had formerly been of “good circumstances” financially.Each resident lived at the Andrew Freedman Home rent free, and received free servants.

CONSTRUCTION

Plans were filed in 1922 to build the home as a four-story brick building. Untermeyer purchased the plot of land on Grand Concourse. Architects Joseph H. Friedlander and Harry Allan Jacobs estimated the cost of construction at $500,000 ($6,857,853 in current dollar terms). The Home was built as a four-story building in a French and Italian Renaissance style with soft gray and yellow  limestone. The building cost approximately $1 million ($13,400,000 in current dollar terms) to build.

The Andrew Freedman Home opened in 1924. The building was expanded between 1928 and 1931, adding two new wings. The building included formal English gardens, a well-manicured lawn, and public rooms with fireplaces and oriental rugs. Each private residence contained a white marble shower stall.

The Home could accommodate 130 residents at a time. Although the first guests to move into the Home did not have the intended cultural background, many wealthy individuals who lost their fortunes in the Wall Street Crash of 1929 moved into the Home in the 1930s. After World War II, various Jews of European descent moved into the home.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

The Mid Bronx Senior Citizens Council purchased the home in 1982 and relocated the remaining 30 residents. They reopened the Home in 1983. The Andrew Freedman Home was named a NYC Designated Landmark in 1992.

Source: Wikipedia

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