LRSH Saved from Demolition

LRSH is saved from demolition under Robert Moses‘ never-realized slum clearance plan despite his finding that it was “not advisable” for the school to remain standing (see letter).

The threat of demolition that has hung over the Little Red School House building at 96 Bleecker Street for many months has finally been dissolved.

It all started in 1948, when Mayor O’Dwyer appointed a committee on slum clearance. This committee was headed by Robert Moses, and its job was to study and organize plans for the elimination of the city’s slum areas. In place of these slums, low-cost housing developments were to be built.

One of the areas which the committee delt [sic] with was the Bleecker Street neighborhood. Various buildings, within this district were made exempt from demolition plans, but as the housing development was to take up entire blocks, exemption could not be secured for all who desired it.

While this idea seemed like an excellent one on the surface, many objections were found. One of these was that the buildings to be erected would not be in the low-rent category, and consequently, the poorer people who were forced to move to make way for the buildings would have nowhere to go.

As for Little Red, and other institutions housed in the area, strong protest was raised by their demolition by public-spirited groups throughout the district. Communications were sent to key figures in the city government, giving the reasons for opposition to the plan.

—Info, the EI newspaper, November 1951