BUILT BY J.P MORGAN, RUTHERFORD PLACE
HOLDS A SPECIAL SPOT IN NEW YORK HISTORY
At the corner of Second Avenue and Seventeenth Street, adjacent to
the newly renovated Stuyvesant Square Park, stands a venerable
limestone and brick ediface. Its gleaming slate roof and Beaux
Arts detailing attest to its pedigree as a National Landmark
building. Its decorative terra cotta medallions depicting infants
in swaddling clothes give a clue to its original place in New York's
Rutherford Place, at 305 Second Avenue, is now a fashionable apartment
building, currently renting beautiful and spacious apartments.
But the building was once the home of Manhattan's first maternity
hospital. Built by J.P. Morgan, it became the darling of New York
society for many decades.
Oddly enough, Rutherford Place had its origins in the yellow fever
epidemic of 1798. It was then that a prominent physician, Dr. Davic
Hosack, concerned about the number of expectant mothers who were
widowed by the epidemic, founded the New York Lying In Hospital,
the first maternity facility in Manhattan.