Monday, July 18, 2016

The Immigrants, memorial in Battery Park

Castle Clinton
At the southern tip of Manhattan Island, Battery Park was  named for the artillery batteries constructed there in 1683 to protect the settlement of New Amsterdam, later New York.  Castle Garden  is the major landmark within   the 25 acre waterfront Battery park. 

It was  constructed between 1808 and 1811 , later  city turned the area into an entertainment center with a restaurant and a theater. From 1855 to 1890, the Castle was America's first official immigration center.  From 1855 through 1890, Castle Garden processed over 8 million immigrants. Yiddish-speaking Eastern European Jews pronounced it  as  Kesselgarden.


Among these people was Louis Rudinsky, Belarusian immigrant.     Later Rudinsky  cut his last name to Rudin  and started with   a dry goods store on the Lower East Side.  The first four of his children were born in a small apartment at the rear of the store where the family lived.  The Rudinsky grocery sold a lot of  kerosene.  John D. Rockefeller of Standard Oil once stopped at Rudinsky house and  Rockefeller surprised  Lewis by walking in  and introducing himself.

"Mister Rockefeller  I'm honored to meet you",-  Rudinsky said.  According to Jack Rudin, the great- son of the patriarch of the family his grand dad had enough courage to engage Rockefeller in polite conversation  and asked him where he lived. "I live  on Fifty-Fourth", was the answer.  So when in 1905 the real estate broker advised Rudin to buy piece of real estate,  a small  apartment house   on 54th,     Luis said:" If it is good enough for Mister Rickfeller  it's good enough for me" and bought the house even without looking. It was building 153 on  East 54th Street. To this day the building  remains a cornerstone  of Rudin  portfolio.



   Samuel Rudin , son of Louis Rudinsky  and his brothers founded Rudin Management Company in 1924 to oversee the family's growing portfolio. Now the family owns about 14 million sq. ft. in the most prestigious parts of Manhattan. 


In 1975  Samuel Rudin commissioned Spanish  sculpture Luis Sanguino to  commemorate  not only his father but   many immigrants that passed through Castle Clinton. Barcelona-born sculptor, Luis Antonio Sanguino Pascual has created hundreds of important sculptures and monuments in Spain, Mexico, and the United States.


 In the late 1950s, Sanguino became the youngest member ever elected to the National Sculpture Society of New York. Sculptor included in his work   Eastern European Jew, a freed African slave, a priest, a worker and his family.
The inscription on the base of the sculpture reads: "DEDICATED TO THE PEOPLE OF ALL NATIONS WHO ENTERED AMERICA THROUGH CASTLE GARDEN IN MEMORY OF SAMUEL RUDIN 1896-1975 WHOSE PARENTS ARRIVED IN AMERICA IN 1883".


Although Rudin died in 1975, Rudin’s family took up the campaign to install the sculpture at the park, and it eventually was dedicated on May 4, 1983.
Lewis Rudin, the son of Samuel Rudin, played a leading role in rescuing New York from several fiscal crises.  Rudin helped found the Association for a Better New York- ABNY, along with a group of prominent New Yorkers.   




The association devoted itself to turning the city around, embarking on ventures that included “adopting” a Bronx school, spearheading the famous “I Love New York” ad campaign and helping to pay for bulletproof vests for the New York Police Department.  Rudin   became known as “Mr. New York.”He  was a tireless advocate for New York City and its people until his death in 2001.
For his efforts on behalf of the city, Rudin won many awards, including the Bronze Medallion, New York City’s highest civic award, and the Living Landmark Award, which is given by the Landmarks Conservancy to distinguished New Yorkers.
The block of East 52nd Street between Park and Lexington avenues is named “Lew Rudin Way,” and the street sign hangs above the corner where Rudin used to buy hot dogs at an outdoor stand.