Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Countess Annie Leary Philanthropy Lives on At Bellevue Hospital Catholic Chapel NYC



Father Marani standing in front of the Leary Family Donated Stained Glass “Christ Healing the Sick” from the original Bellevue Hospital RC Chapel (1897-1938)

Salvage these days would seem to be a good business. I am glad that parts of beautiful buildings live on in other architecture.  Off topic I am poised with bated breath to hopefully follow some Salviati Venetian Glass Mosaics into their third home out of two defunct churches in Philly.

While researching a lot of dead ends, no direct flow of info, on the Internet regarding the lost Leary Chapel at Bellevue Hospital 1897-1938 I have found out that some of the Stained Glass out of Miss Annie Leary’s so-called million dollar RC chapel at Bellevue lives on in the present Catholic Chapel at the Bellevue Hospital complex in NYC.




"Chapel Hall opened in the newly built administration building in 1940. In its coverage of the consecration of the Catholic chapel, The New York Times reported that “the ceremony brought to Bellevue the distinction of being the first hospital in the world to have separate houses of worship for each of three major faiths.” (The Muslim prayer room was added in recent years.)

The new Catholic chapel, resplendent with stained-glass windows salvaged from the demolished one, was placed in the center of the hall...."

The popular repeated over and over again from some one source meme is that the Arthur Leary Chapel at Bellevue Hospital 1897-1938 cost something like one million dollars to build. I don't see much bang for the buck when I look at old photos.

NYPL - Bellevue Hospital - 1938

Doing some other research on some other gilded age micks like Annie Leary and her brother Arthur, one (one of the very few Catholics) of Mrs. Astor’s “400” in the day, I have to say that if Miss Annie Leary paid a million dollars for the little stone building on the grounds of Bellevue Hospital in 1897, she was sold a barrel of goods by the Archdiocese or the Architect William Schickel – a pig in a poke – or the press (MSM) of the day - perhaps using her grief for her older brother with exaggerated value in dollars - by using her charity work for filler and to sell copies of news to the masses or to orchestrate downright theft from the aging heiress.

That if Annie Leary paid more than $200K max for this modest chapel, she paid too much, she got ripped off by the architect, contractor or the RC archdiocese, depending on who was cashing Annie’s bank drafts.

In searching for this magnificent piece of superior European style workmanship that the New York Times Article implies, I was greatly disappointed to see what looks like a plain exterior stone chapel on the corner of First Avenue and Twenty-eighth street in Manhattan.





Image: Catholic World, Volume 65 - 1897
(Original Copyright Expired)

The Catholic World illustration architectural drawings (above) of William Schickel is set in their publication almost as a last minute thing and after the footnotes without any of the NYT hype about the rich woman’s generous gift to the Catholic sick at Bellevue Hospital who would not touch a secular or non-Catholic place of worship in the perhaps W.A.S.P. controlled medical facility. That stays in the hospital back then lasted days and perhaps weeks for things like pneumonia that needed antibiotics by modern standards.

That the Catholic World publication and its editors may not have cared about gilded age New York and its narcissism even in the building of a Catholic chapel right on First Avenue at arm’s length for the great new city institution.

That William Schickel had already perhaps done a spec drawing, not according to Annie Leary’s desire to memorialize her dead banker broker, but the spec watercolor and some basic spec plans were perhaps already on hand to fit the needs of Archdiocese trying to weedle its way into the Protestant ruling class controlled institution of Bellevue Hospital, the city supported hospital.  A lot of campaigning and negotiating there and no doubt through the Tammany crowd on that.  The project was envisioned but not financed at this point?

A guest at Annie Leary's Stag Breakfast after the Chapel's dedication by the Cardinal lists John Crimmins as one of the select 40 males to dine in the nearby Waldorf Astoria banquet hall. Crimmins was known for both his Catholic charity work and his business was of course construction. And he was associated with the architect on other projects, Crimmins' upper east side mansion in particular.

Here is an excellent link to one of William Schickel’s masterpieces of Most Holy Trinity / St. Mary’s in Williamsburg Brooklyn btw.

Also cursory reading on the internet has Schickel’s name not only associated with noteworthy New York church buildings but hospital buildings in NYC such as Lenox Hill (German) Hospital as well as with Bellevue.
Schickel changed his company name according to Wikipedia in 1895 which is why I think the Spec Illustration of W. Schickel and Co. was painted long before Authur Leary went to his reward in 1893. Leary's sister somewhere along the timeline probably got conned into footing the bill for the Catholic archdiocese plans to plant the Catholic flag on Episcopalian Bellevue and with its Christ the Consoler Chapel as the only place of worship on the premises.  



As for cost of the Leary Chapel, as far as I can tell the land was donated by Bellevue.  The stained glass was made in Munich, which was the architect’s native region. Do not know if this is a preference for homegrown workmanship or for cost effectiveness.

Going back to the deadends in terms of tracing salvaged stained glass windows at a secular medical facility.

With all the hype of the Chapel in the elite New York Times of the Elites of Society honoring a dead knight of "the" Mrs. Astor's "400",  it all lost its luster very quickly in time.

By 1915, a publication by Bellevue has the "Leary Memorial Chapel" reduced to the Roman Catholic Chapel and Miss (later Papal Countess) Annie Leary's Catholic charity reduced to a marble altar within that RC chapel at Bellevue.  This within 18 years of dedication - willful ignorance - bureaucratic indifference - or both?


Whatever.


Image: A Short History Of Bellevue Hospital And Of The Training Schools – 1915
(Original Copyright Expired)




NYPL - Bellevue Hospital - 1938




Bellevue Hospital - First Avenue and 28th Street NYC
(Jan 2013 Google Maps)



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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Arthur Leary Memorial Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament - Bellevue Hospital NYC - 1897 - W. Schickel & Co. Architects


Image: Catholic World, Volume 65 - 1897
(Original Copyright Expired)




“The first Roman Catholic Chapel at Bellevue Hospital was the gift of Miss Annie Leary in memory of her brother, Arthur Leary. Designed in the French Gothic style, the chapel was built of stone quarried from the banks of the East River. The interior was finished in hand-carved oak that was executed under the personal supervision of Miss Leary. Walls were hued in an old rose shade, while the ceiling was pale blue, darkening in color as it neared the arch above the altar. Within the chancel rail were three marble altars, and above the altar was a window representing Christ healing the sick. Nine additional windows, executed in Munich, represented patron saints. The chapel was dedicated on February 27, 1897, in impressive ceremonies officiated by Archbishop Corrigan. Music was furnished by a double quartet led by William Pecher, organist at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Miss Leary sent invitations to 300 friends, and after the service gave a very handsome breakfast in the banquet room of the Waldorf Hotel. The two-hour breakfast was attended by forty gentlemen, including clergy who had officiated, friends of Mr. Leary, and others who had been interested in the building and dedication of the chapel. Guests were received by Miss Leary, assisted by Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish, Mrs. John Dahlgren Drexel, and Mrs. Charles Oelrichs, but when breakfast was announced Miss Leary and her female friends left to have breakfast in the restaurant downstairs.

The chapel was razed in 1938…”




Image: A Short History Of Bellevue Hospital And Of The Training Schools – 1915
(Original Copyright Expired)


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Friday, October 17, 2014

Ted Rafael Cruz Defends Privileged Class - “Free of Tax” Class Religionists and Right to Discriminate


Ted Cruz Defending Discrimination Right of Privileged TAX-FREE Religionists in Houston Texas

The city of Houston wants to subpoena “sermons” urging discrimination in Houston against minorities, women, gays, coloreds – and Cuban / American White Trash (via Canada) Texas Senator "Ted" Rafael Cruz-Darragh steps up to bat and defends his favorite class of people, rich “untaxable” religionist Texans. No separation of church and state when a greedy illegal immigrant “constitutional” lawyer defends privilege over democracy.


In May, the City Council passed the equal rights ordinance, which bans discrimination of gay and transgender residents among businesses that serve the public, private employers, in housing and in city employment and city contracting. Religious institutions are exempt, but city attorneys subpoenaed five pastors, seeking all speeches, presentations or sermons related to the petition, the mayor, homosexuality or gender identity.

Christian activists sued after city officials ruled they didn’t collect enough signatures on petitions to put a referendum on the ballot to repeal the ordinance backed by Houston Mayor Annise Parker, who is gay.


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Ebola - Don't Tread on Me - TEAbola Monster






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