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CHILDREN'S COURT
(now Baruch College)
137 East 22nd Street
Architects: Crow, Lewis & Wickenhoefer
1912-16

Children's Court

Among the issues that were of concern to the progressive reformers active at the turn of the century was the treatment of juvenile delinquents. Children who were accused of crimes were treated by the court system as adults, with little concern for their age or for their family circumstances. The country's first juvenile-court statute was enacted in Illinois in 1899. The Chicago bar Association voiced the view that was to take hold in other states, such as New York, that established childrenŐs courts:

The fundamental idea of the Juvenile Court Law is that the State must step in and exercise guardianship over a child found under such adverse social or individual conditions as develop crime...It proposes a plan whereby he may be treated, not as a criminal,...but as a ward of the State, to receive practically the care, custody and discipline that are accorded the neglected and dependent child, and which, as the Act states, "shall approximate as nearly as may be that which should be given by its parents."

In 1902, a Children's Court was established in Manhattan (New York County); this became the first county in the country to have a children's court housed in its own building, the former Department of Public Charities Building on Third Avenue and 11th Street (demolished). This court was a division of the Court of Special Sessions and was still required by law to treat children in the same manner as adults. In 1915, the Children's Court was established as a separate court and in the next year it occupied a new courthouse on East 22nd Street that had been begun several years earlier. The site on East 22nd Street was probably chosen because of its location near several social-service organizations that dealt with issues relating to children: the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, which maintained its headquarters in a building on Park Avenue South at East 23rd Street; the Children's Aid Society housed in the United Charities Building; and, most importantly, the Charity Organization Society (also located in the the United Charities Building), which was instrumental in the organization of the Children's Court.

The Children's Court is an imposing Classical Revival structure faced with limestone. The design is characteristic of public buildings erected in the early decades of the 20th century. The four-story building has a high rusticated base, two-story Ionic columns, and a full attic. In 1937, a bridge was built connecting this building to the new courthouse erected to the west. In 1959, the building was converted for use by Baruch College; the exterior remains unchanged.

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GRAMERCY PARK EAST:

37
38


GRAMERCY PARK NORTH:

40
44
45
60


LEXINGTON AVENUE:

1
Gramercy Park Hotel
Park Gramercy


PARK AVENUE SOUTH:

Church Missions House
New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children


EAST 22ND STREET:

United Charities Building
Manhattan Trade School for Girls
Gramercy Arms
Sage House
Family Court Building
Children's Court
145
Gustavus Adolphus Swedish Lutheran Church
Parish House
Lexington
Miss E.L. Breese Carriage House
Gramercy Court
158


THIRD AVENUE


EAST 19TH STREET:

105
109
111 & 113
115 & 117
IRT Company Substation
112-114
116
118
120
122


IRVING PLACE:

65 & 71
67-69
81


NYSCA To EXIT and return to Preserve & Protect

last revised 31 August 1998

nL
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