The Seamen’s Church Institute’s Anniversary Archive Project 175 Years of Serving the Maritime Community 25 South Street: S...
<ul><li>During the era of the floating chapels, SCI was successful in reaching many of the seamen entering the Port of New...
<ul><li>SCI staff had spent years fighting the crimps of the docks.  A few boarding houses (set up in Manhattan and Brookl...
<ul><li>Mansfield, along with J. Augustus Johnson (L) and Edmund Baylies (R) would set plans in motion for a building that...
First proposed in 1902 by Johnson, the building plans would go through many changes before finally being built in 1912.  T...
<ul><li>On April 15, 1912, the Cornerstone of the new building was placed and blessed. The Mayor of New York, William Jay ...
<ul><li>The building opened on May 28, 1913.  Although more money was needed for the dining room and lunch counter, Mansfi...
<ul><li>The post office at 25 South Street quickly became the world’s most recognizable address.  Letters arrived addresse...
<ul><li>The reading rooms at 25 South Street were filled with books, magazines, and newspapers in many languages. Seamen w...
<ul><li>The number of requests for missing seamen was high, so Janet Roper created the Missing Seamen’s Bureau. House Moth...
<ul><li>25 South Street also housed a Navigational School.  Started informally in 1899, the school  was taught by Captain ...
<ul><li>Another way SCI helped the safety of the seamen was  to provide free legal services. A seamen knew that if he was ...
<ul><li>25 South Street also featured a bank for seamen. Crimps would often lure sailors, who had just been paid, into boa...
<ul><li>In addition, 25 South Street had a restaurant and cafeteria where seamen could buy meals for low prices. During th...
<ul><li>The auditorium at 25 South Street was very popular among seamen. Over the years it was used for theatre production...
<ul><li>Of course, in keeping with SCI’s mission, the building at 25 South Street also had a chapel.  </li></ul>
<ul><li>Built in 1913 and expanded in 1925, the building at 25 South Street was occupied until 1968.  Due to changes in th...
The Seamen’s Church Institute Founded in 1834 and affiliated with the Episcopal Church (though non-denominational in terms...
The Seamen’s Church Institute About the Anniversary Archive Project From April Hegner, SCI Archivist Greetings from the vi...
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25 South Street: SCI’s “Super Hotel” (1913-1968)

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The Seamen’s Church Institute
About the Anniversary Archive Project

From April Hegner, SCI Archivist

Greetings from the virtual, online museum of the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI)—175 years old in the year 2009. My name is April Hegner, SCI’s archivist during its Anniversary celebration. This year I have the distinct privilege of working in and among the rich and fascinating annals of history at SCI, North America’s largest maritime service organization. I am pleased to share with you some of my findings in several short slideshow presentations as part of the Anniversary Archive Project.

Throughout the year, I will be adding more. You can view them as they are compiled at SCI’s website at www.seamenschurch.org. I hope that you enjoy leafing through these pages of the organization’s history. If you have any questions about this project or any particular item displayed here, you may contact me at ahegner@seamenschurch.org.

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Transcript of "25 South Street: SCI’s “Super Hotel” (1913-1968)"

  1. 1. The Seamen’s Church Institute’s Anniversary Archive Project 175 Years of Serving the Maritime Community 25 South Street: SCI’s “Super Hotel” (1913-1968)
  2. 2. <ul><li>During the era of the floating chapels, SCI was successful in reaching many of the seamen entering the Port of New York. However, it soon became evident that SCI needed to serve more than just the souls of the seamen. With Rev. Archibald Mansfield at the lead, SCI built a hotel for seamen at 25 South Street. It would become more than just a hotel. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>SCI staff had spent years fighting the crimps of the docks. A few boarding houses (set up in Manhattan and Brooklyn) housed the men while in the Port, but the beds filled up quickly. The front desks of the houses would often serve as concierges, handling baggage and mail. </li></ul><ul><li>Mansfield and the Board of Trustees began to raise funds for a new hotel to offer similar services and protection from the crimps, along with safe accommodations. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Mansfield, along with J. Augustus Johnson (L) and Edmund Baylies (R) would set plans in motion for a building that would incorporate all of the services of SCI into one building. </li></ul>
  5. 5. First proposed in 1902 by Johnson, the building plans would go through many changes before finally being built in 1912. The original plan began with 6-8 floors and 250 beds. In addition, it was to have a place to store baggage, a supply store and a branch of the Legal Aid Society.
  6. 6. <ul><li>On April 15, 1912, the Cornerstone of the new building was placed and blessed. The Mayor of New York, William Jay Gaynor, attended the ceremony. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>The building opened on May 28, 1913. Although more money was needed for the dining room and lunch counter, Mansfield wanted to open the hotel as soon as possible to create a safe place for seamen to stay. </li></ul><ul><li>The hotel housed 580 men. Dormitory style beds were 15¢ a night, while rooms were 25¢. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>The post office at 25 South Street quickly became the world’s most recognizable address. Letters arrived addressed to ‘Sailors, South Street, New York’ or ‘Sailor’s Home Near South Ferry.’ In 1927, it handled as much mail as a post office in a city of 20,000. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>The reading rooms at 25 South Street were filled with books, magazines, and newspapers in many languages. Seamen were encouraged to write home to their families and to let them know that they were safe. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>The number of requests for missing seamen was high, so Janet Roper created the Missing Seamen’s Bureau. House Mother since 1915 (and often called Mother Roper by seamen), she was successful in locating over 6,500 seamen by the time of her death in 1943. However, she also realized that sometimes a seaman disappeared on purpose. She never gave out the where-abouts of someone who did not want to be found. Instead, she gently encouraged the men to write home on their own. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>25 South Street also housed a Navigational School. Started informally in 1899, the school was taught by Captain Robert Huntington. Courses taught included gunnery, signaling, ordnance, latitude by various measurements, calculations, ship’s positioning, use of charts, sextant adjustment, first aid, and course and distance. The school went through many changes, but it still exists today. SCI’s Center for Maritime Education provides training using simulator-based instruction facilities located in Houston, TX and Paducah, KY. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Another way SCI helped the safety of the seamen was to provide free legal services. A seamen knew that if he was being treated unfairly, if his wages were being withheld, or he was hurt while onboard, he could contact the Center for Seafarers’ Rights and obtain aid. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>25 South Street also featured a bank for seamen. Crimps would often lure sailors, who had just been paid, into boardinghouses. There the crimp would encourage him to drink and gamble. By the end of the stay, the sailor would often have no money left and might be in debt to the crimp. By providing banking services, SCI enabled the sailor to save money and send some home to his family. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>In addition, 25 South Street had a restaurant and cafeteria where seamen could buy meals for low prices. During the depression era, meals cost ten cents. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>The auditorium at 25 South Street was very popular among seamen. Over the years it was used for theatre productions, religious services, movies and dances. During the World Wars it was used as a dormitory and as a gym to keep men shipping out in shape. </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Of course, in keeping with SCI’s mission, the building at 25 South Street also had a chapel. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Built in 1913 and expanded in 1925, the building at 25 South Street was occupied until 1968. Due to changes in the shipping industry, seamen were spending less time in Port. A building at 15 State Street was constructed and focused more on education, while still having a few floors of rooms, offering safe accommodations to seamen. </li></ul>
  18. 18. The Seamen’s Church Institute Founded in 1834 and affiliated with the Episcopal Church (though non-denominational in terms of its trustees, staff and service to mariners), the Seamen’s Church Institute of New York & New Jersey (SCI) is the largest, most comprehensive mariners’ agency in North America. Annually, its chaplains visit 3,400 vessels in the Port of New York and New Jersey and along 2,200 miles of America’s inland waterways. SCI’s maritime education facilities provide navigational training to nearly 1,600 mariners each year through simulator-based facilities located in Houston, TX and Paducah, KY. The Institute and its maritime attorneys are recognized as leading advocates for merchant mariners by the United States Government, including the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Homeland Security, as well as the United Nations, the International Maritime Organization, the International Labor Organization and maritime trade associations. Visit us on the Web at www.seamenschurch.org .
  19. 19. The Seamen’s Church Institute About the Anniversary Archive Project From April Hegner, SCI Archivist Greetings from the virtual, online museum of the Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI)—175 years old in the year 2009. My name is April Hegner, SCI’s archivist during its Anniversary celebration. This year I have the distinct privilege of working in and among the rich and fascinating annals of history at SCI, North America’s largest maritime service organization. I am pleased to share with you some of my findings in several short slideshow presentations as part of the Anniversary Archive Project. Throughout the year, I will be adding more. You can view them as they are compiled at SCI’s website at www.seamenschurch.org . I hope that you enjoy leafing through these pages of the organization’s history. If you have any questions about this project or any particular item displayed here, you may contact me at [email_address] .

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