Although it is now a paved lot of questionable use, one of many summer cottages belonging to the Children's Aid Society once stood on the pictured strip of land at Cropsey Avenue near 17th Street in Bath Beach. The Children's Aid Society was established in 1853 to provide an alternative for poor and parentless children to almshouses, orphan asylums, and the streets. The society's fresh air getaways to the cottages allowed disenfranchised kids to frolic in the "healing" sea air and forget the woes of turn-of-the-century inner-city life.
Haxtun Cottage, above, was funded by the wealthy Mrs. Benjamin Haxton and continued to serve physically challenged youth until the Children's Aid Society camps in Bath Beach were forced out of the neighborhood by development towards the 1930's, Brownstoner explains in a thorough profile of the site. Haxtun Cottage was the last of the lot to close, and is pictured by Berenice Abbott following its shuttering in 1936. The Children's Aid Society still serves the NYC community, and has made headlines lately with its real-estate sell-offs from its stake in the United Charities building on Park Avenue South to its former Sullivan Street property which has since been converted into luxury homes.
· Past and Present: The Haxtun Cottage of the Children's Aid Society ['Stoner]
· Hint: An Evergreen Institution Said Bye to This Building, Others [Curbed]
· All Children's Aid Society coverage [Curbed]