by Trent Pheifer
[ Note: This article originally appeared in Issue 54 of Voyage,
the quarterly journal of the Titanic International Society. ]

New York has been at the center of the North American shipping industry since the 1820’s, when the United States built the Erie Canal. It connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes by way of the Hudson River, which borders New York City to the west. New York City’s economy began to boom as the gateway to the Midwest. Before the canal, New York City was the fifth busiest port. Within 15 years, it had become the busiest, exporting and importing many of America’s goods. Along with the many cargo ships that would stop in New York, passenger lines such as White Star began making it their American port-of-call. It was cheaper for those immigrants who wanted to settle further inland to stop in New York than travel further westward by way of the canal. New York was Titanic’s destination when she sank in the North Atlantic, taking with her over 1,500 souls. The remaining 705 made it to New York aboard Carpathia.

New York’s early morning papers on Monday, April 15 had much of the city talking Titanic. Most papers had taken the safe route and reported that Titanic was injured but safe, but Carr Van Anda, managing editor of The New York Times, played a hunch. He believed the abrupt stop in Titanic’s wireless communication meant she had sunk. He decided to report this on the Times’ front page. Crowds gathered at the White Star Line office at 9 Broadway inquiring about the ship and her passengers. Through a spokesman, P. A. S. Franklin assured them Titanic was safe and that the Times’ reports were unfounded.

Around 4:35 p.m. on the 15th, a wireless operator atop Wanamaker’s Department Store at 9th and Broadway received a wireless message from Titanic’s sister ship Olympic, 1,400 miles away. The operator was David Sarnoff, who would go on to achieve widespread fame through radio. The message stated that Titanic had sunk and the remaining 675 survivors were aboard Carpathia bound for New York. Franklin made a public statement confirming what Olympic had sent and added there had been a great loss of life. New York City, with the rest of the world, was beginning to realize the tragedy’s scope. Survivor lists were posted and relatives and friends of Titanic passengers showed up at the White Star office, only to come out shocked and devastated. The New York Maritime Exchange requested that all flags in the New York Harbor be lowered.

Carpathia arrived in New York Harbor late on the 18th in pouring rain and gusty winds. A flotilla of boats chartered by newspapers greeted her when she entered the harbor; she sped past them and proceeded through the harbor. At Battery Park, over 10,000 people stood in silence watching Carpathia pass. She steamed up the Hudson River and past her own pier. When she reached pier 59 she turned to port 180 degrees and came to a stop. Here she dropped off Titanic’s lifeboats; random flashes of lightning gave the landside crowd a better view of what was happening. Once all of Titanic’s lifeboats were unloaded, Carpathia made her way back to her own pier 54.

At 9:30 p.m., Carpathia was tied up and Titanic’s first and second class survivors disembarked, followed by third class survivors at 11 p.m. An area on West Street immediately outside the piers had been fenced off with only relatives, friends and people who were there to help allowed past. Reporters shouted questions to the survivors, hoping to get stories for their papers. The crew were the last to leave Carpathia and they were transferred to Lapland at pier 60. From here, the survivors fanned out across the city, staying with friends, at hotels or at hospitals. Recovery could begin.

In less than a week, permanent memorials were being proposed and money for them was being collected. Memorials seem to help society deal with a disaster and Titanic was no different. New York was mourning after losing some of its most prominent citizens such as Isidor Straus and John Jacob Astor and the city wanted to remember them. Most of these memorials still stand. Sadly, some of them have been covered up or torn down; still the city is rich with Titanic and maritime related places to visit. Indeed, there are probably more Titanic-related memorials in this city than in any other.

Chelsea Piers • Piers 54 and 59 • Hudson River from 13th to 18th Street

At the turn of the century, New York City looked to revitalize an area on the Hudson River that had become rundown and unattractive; the Chelsea Piers were the answer. Warren and Wetmore, the same architects who designed Grand Central Terminal, designed this massive project. It consisted of nine piers ranging from 350 feet to 825 feet long and 125 feet wide. They covered the waterfront from 12th Street to 23rd Street. The piers’ head houses had arched gateways and were made of granite with a pink granite facade; green iron sheds were built on the piers’ bases. Large doors lined both floors’ exterior walls, and cargo hoists were placed atop the piers. Before construction could begin, one major obstacle had to be overcome: To build this length of pier it would be necessary to extend the pier head line 200 feet offshore. This the United States government refused to allow, and so the city had to buy property inshore and lengthen the piers by moving the bulkheads inland. The river along the inshore section was dredged to a depth of 40 feet at mean low water. A strong bulkhead was built for 3,600 feet, “nearly the whole distance of the new improvement,” according to The New York Times, Feb. 29, 1910.

In 1907, five years after construction began, the pier bases were completed and Mauretania and Lusitania began using Pier 54. It took another three years for the sheds to be built on the bases. The piers were officially opened on February 11, 1910; White Star’s Oceanic broke the ribbon stretched from Pier 61 to Pier 62 when she was moved from Pier 48. The entire project cost the city $25 million.

The White Star Line fought hard to get several of the Chelsea Piers extended 100 feet to accommodate their new mammoth liners Olympic and Titanic. If these extensions were not added, the ships’ sterns would be liable to damage. The company encountered the same hostility from the United States government as the city had. Isidor Straus was one of many who fought to get the pier extended. Eventually, the government granted temporary pier extensions that allowed the river to flow freely.

If Titanic had arrived safely in New York, she would have berthed at Pier 59. The night the Carpathia arrived, survivors disembarked at Pier 54 to meet awaiting family, friends, or American Red Cross helpers. Pier 54 was the same pier from which Lusitania departed on May 1, 1915; six days later she was sunk by a German torpedo.

In 1932, a fire damaged parts of piers 53, 54, 56, and 57. Afterwards, much of the piers’ facade was restored and the original heavy ornamentation, pediments and cornices were removed as a safety measure.

During World War II, the piers became the point of embarkation for troops going to Europe to fight. By war’s end, the piers had become inadequate for the new, larger ocean liners. The debut of jet aircraft quickly ended the piers’ use as passenger terminals. Cargo ships used the piers until the 1960’s, when they again became inadequate for the new container ships. It was the last time the piers would serve a shipping function. Through the 1970’s and 1980’s, many of the Chelsea Piers, including Pier 54, served as parking garages and warehouses. The New York City Landmark Commission denied landmark status to Pier 54 in the 1980’s.

Photo courtesy Dave Shuttle and Barb Shuttle
On close inspection, one can still read the words “Cunard Line,” superimposed over
the words “White Star Line,” just beneath the arch of the entrance to Pier 54.

By 1990, most of the Chelsea Piers’ sheds had been torn down. Pier 54 and the pier house for Pier 53 were all that was left; both were in danger of being torn down. The piers had not been maintained over the years and some believed they were unsafe and beyond repair. Many fought the historic piers’ demolition, believing they could be turned into a ferry terminal, museum or open exhibition area. Preservationists formed The Committee to Save Cunard Piers. They advertised in The New York Times and sought local support, but it was too little, too late. In July 1992, the Blandford Land Cleaning Corporation began the $1.6 million demolition of Pier 54’s shed and granite front. Another historical building had been lost in New York; some even compared it to the demolition of Pennsylvania Station.

Today, Pier 54 is used as a roller-blading park and for large open events. All that is left is a rusting arch with the faded, overlapping letters spelling “Cunard” and “White Star Line.” There is talk that, in the future, a large performance area will be placed on the pier and historic ships will dock at its sides. The Chelsea Piers Sporting Complex converted Pier 59 into a driving range in 1994. The sporting complex converted piers 59-62 into a myriad of different sporting features. From the Hudson River you can see that some of pier buildings retain the shape of the original Chelsea Piers.

The Titanic Lighthouse • Park Row bordered by Pearl, Beekman and Fulton Streets

Plans for this memorial were well underway by the end of April 1912. The Seaman’s Benefit Society took charge of raising money for the lighthouse almost immediately following the disaster. The lighthouse would be fixed atop of the new Seaman’s Church Institute, then under construction, at the corner of South Street and Coenties Slip.

The memorial includes a time ball, which was used daily when the lighthouse sat atop the Seaman’s Church Institute building.

“Shortly before noon, a hand windlass would send [the] ball to the top of [the] tall metal pole at the top of the lighthouse. On the dot of noon the ball would fall, so that in the age when good navigation depended on accurate time keeping, ship chronometers could be checked for accuracy. Wall [S]treet commuters took the opportunity to check their watches.” – The New York Times, August 4, 1968, S15.

Over 200 people attended the dedication on the sinking’s first anniversary. For many years, a memorial service was held on each anniversary. The time ball operated until 1967, when the lighthouse was removed from the building, which was being torn down. The Kaiser-Nelson Steel and Salvage Company donated the lighthouse to the Friends of South Street Seaport. The Seaport did not immediately know what to do with the lighthouse, so it was stored for some time. Then in 1975, the Exxon Corporation donated $200,000 to create a park at the seaport as a setting for the Titanic lighthouse; the seaport raised an additional $100,000 to complete the project. The Titanic Lighthouse was restored and received a new pedestal. The park opened in May 1976.

During the 1980’s, the Titanic Lighthouse received an unwanted addition: an information booth for the Seaport was built around it. Titanic International Society trustee Charles Haas, then Titanic Historical Society president, wrote to the seaport urging reversal of what was deemed a “desecration” of a memorial for those lost on Titanic. The seaport reconsidered its decision after receiving Mr. Haas’ letter and the booth was soon removed. On April 11, 1986, the memorial was rededicated and the time ball was returned to service for the first time since 1967. The Seaport is currently raising money to restore its light.

Wireless Operators’ Memorial • Battery Park

The New York Times, which believed New York City should create a memorial to honor Jack Phillips, originally suggested this memorial. On April 30, 1912, the Maritime Association of the Port of New York and the Maritime Exchange met to discuss the idea and create a plan. It was decided the memorial would not honor just Phillips, but all wireless operators lost while doing their duty. Afterwards The New York Times began the Marconi Wireless Operators’ Fund; much of the money collected came from actual wireless operators who admired Jack Phillips. The fund would also provide financial aid to the widows and orphans of lost operators.

The fountain is constructed of white granite and originally “consisted of a huge basin on a pedestal surmounted at the back by a cenotaph six feet high and flanked on either side by seats of the same material… Each name [was] chiseled out of the solid granite…. Eventually, each name was cast in bronze and placed on the memorial, because of space constraints. Inscribed in the top is, ‘ERECTED IN MEMORY OF WIRELESS OPERATORS LOST AT SEA AT THE POST OF DUTY.’ The garland under the principal inscription [is] exquisitely carved and [is] composed of motives derived from aquatic plants, shells, and sea forms.” Originally, nine names were included on the memorial, which was placed at the base of the Barge Office in Battery Park.

Photo courtesy Dave Shuttle and Barb Shuttle

Photo courtesy Trent Pheifer

Photo courtesy Dave Shuttle and Barb Shuttle
The Wireless Operators’ Memorial (center) is dedicated to the many wirelss operators who lost their lives at sea, as engraved in the upper portion of the monument (left). Titanic’s wirelss operator Jack Phillips’ name is prominent on the base of the memorial (right).

On May 12, 1915, the memorial was ready for its unveiling. The fountain was draped in the American flag and crowned with a wreath. Despite the rain, over 500 people turned out for the ceremony. Acting Mayor McAneny spoke of the heroism of the wireless operators and mentioned that the two wireless operators who had lost their lives on Lusitania five days earlier would be remembered on the monument. Following his speech, the fountain was unveiled. Two buglers sounded Taps as the parks commissioner removed the flag and activated the fountain.

By 1934, 25 names were on the memorial. It was removed in 1939 to facilitate reconstruction of Battery Park. On May 30, 1957, it was rededicated in the center of Battery Park, where it stands today. Over the years, many names have been added, including a special inscription for those wireless operators lost during the two world wars. In the summer of 2004, the area around this memorial was under reconstruction and it could not be accessed.

Straus Park and Fountain • Bordered by Broadway, West End Avenue and 106th Street

As with many of New York’s Titanic memorials, planning for this memorial began almost immediately following the disaster. By late June 1912, over $10,000 had been raised for a fountain and park to honor the Strauses. A triangular park in Morningside Heights, near where the Strauses lived, was designated for the fountain. Its name was changed from Bloomingdale Park to Straus Park soon afterwards. Many objected to the name change because it was the last area in Manhattan that carried the name Bloomingdale, the old name for Broadway and a large portion of Upper Manhattan.

The Memorial Committee and the National Sculpture Society received 59 models for their consideration. In March 1913, architect Evart Tracy and sculptor Augustus Lukeman’s model was chosen as the winner; $20,000 was set aside for the project. The memorial is “centered on ‘Memory,’ a reclining female figure in bronze, eyes downcast into a triangular sheet of water. The figure rests on a slightly curved plinth of granite, with another, larger plinth in the rear forming a bench and inscribed with a Biblical phrase from II Samuel: ‘In their death they were not divided.’” – Christopher Gray, The New York Times, August 28, 1998.

Photo courtesy Trent Pheifer

Photo courtesy Trent Pheifer
The Straus Fountain (left), located in picturesque Straus Park (right), just off Broadway,
was erected to honor the memory of Isidor and Ida Straus, who lost their lives aboard

It was dedicated in the late afternoon of April 15, 1915 at a well-attended ceremony. The Strauses were well known in New York for their charity work. The ceremony lasted two hours and included Justice Greenbaum, Seth Low and Mayor Michel as speakers. Over 300 children from the Education Alliance, which Isidor Straus founded, sang in praise of the couple. The park was also officially christened Straus Park during the ceremony.

The park became a favorite of many neighborhood children over the years, but by the 1980’s the park was in a dilapidated state; drugs and the homeless had taken over. Leon Auerbach, who loved the park as a child, decided to fight to get the park restored. He went to Borough President Ruth W. Messinger to get her support and money. In 1992, she set aside $325,000 on the condition that Auerbach get neighborhood support and companies to provide the labor.

Reconstruction began in 1994; the park received new lights, benches, shrubs, pavement and fencing. The park was extended 15 feet into an unused part of West End Avenue. The fountain was returned to working order and the reflecting pool was replaced with a planting bed. The reconstruction was finished in 1997, eight years after the renovation was first discussed. The neighborhood formed The Friends of Straus Park to care for the park and organize events. The Straus family established an endowment fund for the park’s upkeep.

Steamship Row

The old International Mercantile Marine Building • 1 Broadway

IMM did not purchase this building until the early 1920’s, so it does not have direct connections to Titanic, but IMM is the company that owned the White Star Line. Today it is a Citibank; one can still see the entrances labeled “First Class Entrance” and “Cabin Class Entrance” and nautical-themed decoration.

Photo courtesy Dave Shuttle and Barb Shuttle

Photo courtesy Trent Pheifer

Photo courtesy Dave Shuttle and Barb Shuttle
The First and Cabin Class entrances are still prominent in the IMM building at 1 Broadway (center), which is now a Citibank.

The old White Star Line Office • 9 Broadway

This building, directly across from Bowling Green Park, can be seen in many photographs of the crowds waiting for news about Titanic and her passengers. Vincent Astor came here to find out his father’s fate; he left the building with his head buried in his hands, sobbing. It is here that many would have purchased tickets for Titanic’s return voyage on April 20. Presumably, White Star Line left this office after its 1934 merger with Cunard. Currently it is a Radio Shack electronics store.

The old Cunard Building • 25 Broadway

Built in 1921; this was the New York headquarters for Cunard and later Cunard-White Star. Passages were booked here for such classic ships as the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. It has beautiful interiors, including 65-foot vaulted ceilings with three domes; on these are murals and frescoes depicting ocean liner travel. On the pendentives four great explorers are remembered: Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, Leif Eriksson and Sir Francis Drake. The United States Postal Service eventually bought the building and turned the lobby into a post office, dividing it into banal cubicles.

Photo courtesy Dave Shuttle and Barb Shuttle

Photo courtesy Dave Shuttle and Barb Shuttle
The IMM logo is evident in the intricate ironwork inside 1 Broadway (left),
while the Cunard building at 25 Broadway shows the intracacies of early 1900’s architecture (right).

Old Institute of Seaman’s Friend • 113 Jane Street • Overlooking the Hudson

Many of Titanic’s crew stayed here while being detained for the American Inquiry before it moved to Washington. On the morning of April 19, about half of the 210 surviving crew came here for a memorial service for those lost on Titanic. At this meeting, the collection for the Titanic Lighthouse began. Attendees also received a new set of clothes. On April 20, a group of Titanic’s crew posed on the front steps before boarding the Lapland to return to England. Some years after the Institute of the Seaman’s Friend left the building, it was converted into the Riverview Hotel, which it remains today. The building also houses the Jane Street Theater. You can stay at the hotel quite cheaply ($40 to $74 a night)… although you may have to sacrifice some luxuries, like space or your own bathroom!

Astor Window at Cathedral of St. John the Divine • 112th Street and Amsterdam Avenue

Construction began on this Cathedral in 1892 and is still underway today. When completed, it will be the largest cathedral in America. On the easternmost bay of the north aisle is the American Hall with a Jamestown Medallion on the floor before it. The stained-glass window, designed by Ernest W. Lakeman and donated by the Astor family, depicts major events in American history and memorializes John Jacob Astor IV with a picture of the sinking Titanic in the lower right corner. Ironically, the stained glass Titanic sports Cunard’s red-and-black funnels. An inscription on a stone below states, “This Window Is Given By The Members Of His Family To The Memory Of John Jacob Astor Who Died Nobly At The Sinking Of The Titanic On April 15, 1912.”

Photo courtesy Trent Pheifer

Photo courtesy Trent Pheifer

Courtesy of
Titanic can be seen in the lower right-hand corner of this stained glass window (left) in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The Old Institute of Seaman’s Friend (now the Riverview Hotel) on Jane Street (center) was home to many of Titanic’s surviving crew while waiting to testify at the Senate Inquiry. The W. T. Stead memorial (right) is flanked on the bottom left and right by small figures of “fortitude” and “sympathy.” It is a copy of a memorial on the Thames in London

William T. Stead Memorial • Central Park Wall, 5th Avenue across from East 91st Street

This bronze tablet was sculpted by Sir George Frampton and was a duplicate of a tablet placed on the Thames Embankment in England. The American Stead Memorial Committee raised funds for its placement. It was unveiled in a brief ceremony on the 72nd anniversary of Stead’s birth, July 5, 1921. The plaque is a bas-relief of Mr. Stead with figures on each side symbolizing fortitude and sympathy. Inscribed is the following:

This Tribute To The Memory Of A
Journalist Of Worldwide Renown Is
Erected By American Friends And
Admirers. He Met Death Aboard The
Titanic Apr 15, 1912 And Is Numbered
Amongst Those Who Dying Nobly
Enabled Others To Live
Finis Cornat Opus

Edith Corse Evans Plaque • Grace Church • Broadway and West 10th Street

On April 22, 1912, a memorial service was held here to remember Miss Edith Corse Evans. In attendance was Caroline Brown, to whom Edith had given her seat because Caroline had children. In late 1912, this plaque was presented to the church in memory of her.

The tablet in Miss Evans’ honor reads, “In Gratitude to God for the Memory of EDITH CORSE EVANS who in the Midst of Life Gave Herself for Others on the Titanic XV April MCMXII Trusting in Him who Hath Made the Depth of the Sea a Way for the Ransomed to Pass Over Love is strong as Death.”

The large tablet is on the right hand side of the wall, when facing the back of the church.

Isidor and Ida Straus Elementary School (P. S. 198) • 1700 Third Avenue

This light blue building was named in honor of the Strauses; it was the second school in New York named for them.

Arlington Hotel • 18 West 25th Street

Many of Titanic’s survivors stayed here after arriving in New York.

Barbizon Hotel • 140 East 63rd Street

Margaret Brown lived here during her final years. She passed away here on October 26, 1932. The name has since been changed to The Melrose Hotel.

Photo courtesy Trent Pheifer

Photo courtesy Trent Pheifer

Photo courtesy Dave Shuttle and Barb Shuttle
This plaque (left), dedicated to Isidor and Ida Straus, cofounders of Macy’s Department Store, is now practically hidden from view. Margaret “Molly” Brown spent her final years at the Barbizon (now Melrose) Hotel on New York’s East 63rd Street (center). The IMM building at 1 Broadway still boasts its many ports of call with the cities’ crests (right)

Carnegie Hall • West 57th Street and 7th Avenue

On May 12, 1912, a memorial service was held here in remembrance of the Strauses. Mayor Gaynor and Andrew Carnegie were speakers and mourners filled every seat. A crowd of over 1,000 gathered outside the hall, standing in the rain, to remember the Strauses.

Other Titanic-Related Places

Titanic International Society has dedicated several plaques to the Titanic’s passengers around the city:

on Ellis Island, at the American Red Cross Headquarters (150 Amsterdam Ave.);
at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Building (Madison Ave.); and
at the Salvation Army Headquarters.

John Jacob Astor and Madeleine Astor are the only passengers buried in Manhattan, at Trinity Cemetery on the upper west side. J.J. is in the Astor vault and Madeleine is buried nearby in an unmarked grave. Over 30 Titanic passengers are buried in the surrounding boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, including Archibald Gracie and Isidor Straus.

The Unknowns

Isidor and Ida Straus plaque in Macy’s • 34th Street and 7th Avenue • Center entrance on 34th Street

This bronze plaque was a gift from the employees of R. H. Macy & Co. in memory of the Strauses, who co-owned Macy’s. The idea for the tablet came from a young employee. Within the tablet is a list of every employee who worked at the store at that time. It was unveiled at a ceremony in the restaurant of the Macy Building at 3 p.m. on June 8, 1913. Almost 5,000 people attended the unveiling, included the Strauses son Jesse, who accepted the plaque on the family’s behalf. The Strauses’ granddaughter pulled the string to unveil the plaque, on which is a bas-relief of Isidor and Ida with their birth dates and the inscription, “THEIR LIVES WERE BEAUTIFUL AND THEIR DEATHS GLORIOUS.”

The plaque was placed in the store’s arcade entrance. Unfortunately, Macy’s decided to remodel sometime after 2001. During this remodeling, a staircase was built over the arcade entrance inside and the outside of the entrance was locked and painted over. Hopefully, Macy’s will find a new home for the plaque, rather than letting it sit unseen.

Although they may no longer be there, there was:

a plaque dedicated to Emil Taussig at the Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx;
a plaque dedicated to Isidor Straus at the Montefiore Congregation in the Bronx;
a school dedicated to the Strauses in Brooklyn;
a plaque dedicated to Ida Straus at The Home of the Daughters of Jacob (301 and 303 East Broadway); and
a Straus Memorial Hall at the Educational Alliance Building (East Broadway and Jefferson Street).

Lost Places

The old Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

Senator William Alden Smith held the American Inquiry at the Waldorf before moving it to Washington. The inquiry took place in the East Room; there are many pictures of J. Bruce Ismay being questioned here. Harold Cottam, Harold Bride, Second Officer Charles Lightoller and Third Officer James Pitman all testified at the Waldorf. Unfortunately, the hotel, which stood at Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, was torn down in 1929; its Victorian style was outdated. One of New York’s finest buildings, the Empire State Building, replaced it. The Waldorf-Astoria name lives on; a hotel with that name was built in the 1940’s on Park Ave.

St. Vincent’s Hospital • Seton Building • Northeast corner of Seventh Avenue and West Eleventh Street

The Seton Building, a seven-story red-brick Georgian-style building, was completed in 1899 by the architectural firm Schickel & Ditmars. It was named after Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American to be canonized. She also founded the Sisters of Charity who, in turn, founded St. Vincent’s. It is here that many of Titanic’s survivors received medical attention once they disembarked the Carpathia, since that is was the closest hospital to Pier 54. St. Vincent’s often took care of injured seamen.

In February 1914, a new emergency wing ward was dedicated to Dr. William Francis Norman O’Loughlin, the doctor who went down with the Titanic. He often visited the hospital to attend to the seamen. “A bronze tablet inscribed with his name will be placed in the hall outside the ward facing the small chapel where the sisters meet to go through their daily spiritual exercises.” It was originally proposed that a laboratory be built on the roof to honor O’Loughlin, but that did not comply with the requirements of the Building Bureau. When it opened, the ward consisted of “three separate rooms, one for general usage containing nine beds, one with three beds for patients in delirium, and the third with five beds to provide for an overflow or for women patients when necessary.”

By the 1970’s, the O’Loughlin wing may have been replaced, but there was another Titanic memorial in the building. On the first floor next to the emergency room’s triage desk was a large (2.5 feet wide and 3.5 feet high) bronze tablet remembering all those who died on Titanic. What the tablet said exactly is unknown. By the later 1970’s, the hospital was looking to update its facilities and one of its first steps was to demolish the Seton Building. Many in the Greenwich Village community opposed the building’s demolition, for it had become a Village landmark. They tried to compromise by trying to get the Seton Building facade incorporated into the new design.

Unfortunately, the Seton Building was torn down in 1980, to make way for the smaller, newer edition. All that remains of the building is a jewel removed from the chapel and placed in the new structure. The tablets for the Titanic’s passengers were destroyed with the building.

The Lost New York Titanic Memorial

One memorial never came to being in New York City. In May 1912, Mayor Gaynor created a 32-member committee to commission a memorial to Titanic’s victims. The New York Times reported that a heated debate took place at the initial meeting, which lasted three hours. It ended with the committee members split on the type of memorial. Some suggestions included a monument shaped like large steamer and an iceberg cut in stone; the largest lighthouse in the world placed in the lower bay, whose light could be “seen from the lower bay for fifty to seventy-five miles;” or to combine with the Women’s Dollar Campaign for a national memorial. The last choice was eventually adopted, as some New York memorial committee members ended up on the Titanic Women’s Memorial committee. Following this, New York City dropped the idea of creating its own Titanic Memorial.

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