News

Historic Plaque To Be Unveiled

Posted: May 14, 2018

Honoring America’s First Woman Doctor, Elizabeth Blackwell And Her New York Infirmary For Women And Children

New York — On May 14th, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation will commemorate the life and work of Elizabeth Blackwell and the founding of the New York Infirmary for Women and Children at 58 Bleecker Street with the unveiling of a historic plaque.

In 1857, the first female physician in America, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, established the first hospital for women, staffed by women, and run by women, called The New York Infirmary for Women and Children. It was located in the house still standing at 58 Bleecker Street (at Crosby Street), which was originally numbered 64 Bleecker Street. Built in 1822-1823, the Federal style house was erected for James Roosevelt, the great grandfather of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who lived there until his death just ten years before Blackwell embarked on her groundbreaking effort. Blackwell’s hospital opened on May 12, 1857, the 37th birthday of Florence Nightingale, whom Blackwell had befriended earlier in her career. The hospital was open seven days a week and provided medical care for needy women and children free of charge.

GVSHP will install a plaque on the building at 58 Bleecker Street almost 161 years to the day since the infirmary opened, to mark the significance of the site towards the elevation of women in the field of medicine.

Speakers will include:
  • Carey Bloomfield, great, great niece of Elizabeth Blackwell
  • Jen Weintraub, curator/archivist at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard
  • Betty Bayer, Professor of Women’s Studies, Hobart and William Smith College, co-president of the National Women’s Hall of Fame Board of Directors
  • Virginia Reath, a practicing clinician, and activist and local resident for the past 30 years
  • Andrew Berman, Executive Director of Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.
Logistical information for those interested in attending:

Who:Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
When:Monday, May 14th, 6:00 P.M.
Where:58 Bleecker Street, Crosby Street side
Admission:Free, reservations requested. www.gvshp.org/events
Contact: Andrew Berman, andrew@gvshp.org, 917-533-1767, 212-475-9585 x38
Harry Bubbins, hbubbins@gvshp.org , 347-990-0750, 212-475-9585 x33