The Q at Parkside
News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
TB, or not TB?
25 Winthrop Street. You've probably passed it without giving it much thought. It's one of the many buildings belonging to CAMBA, Brooklyn's largest social services non-profit. But it wasn't til just the other day that I noticed the engraving above its front door:
Yes, 100 years ago, right here in our midst, the MIDWOOD Sanitorium did its best to rid its residents of the "White Plague." Many years after it stopped being a TB rest home it would appear it continued to be used as a "last address" for many residents of Prospect Lefferts Gardens Flatbush Parkside Caledonia. I suspect that once 25 Winthrop became listed in the phone book next to your name, it was time to work out the details of your memorial service.
During my extensive research into the origins of American sanitoria (read: a quick peek at Wikipedia), I found myself absorbed in the story of the haunted Waverly Hills Sanitorium in Kentucky. Look it up...what a great story about the "body chute," that doctors thought would keep patients from having to "see" death. The mere existence of the "body chute" would have been enough to scare me straight into the grave.