I often find myself in Straus Square, an overlooked little triangle formed by Rutgers Street, Canal Street and East Broadway. Here, two streets are generated: Canal, which roars west to the Hudson River, and Essex, which runs north to East Houston, where it becomes Avenue A. It was named for Jewish philanthopist Nathan Straus (1848-1931), a partner with his brother Isidor in the giant Macy’s department store early in the 20th Century, assisted and funded a program distributing pasteurized and sterilized milk to children countrywide. He also championed a Jewish state in Palestine, a cause he did not live to see. I am often here because the F rain East Broadway station is the last southbound F train station in Manhattan and I use it as a jumping off point for Lower East Side explorations.
Since Memorial Day 1953, Straus Square has been punctuated by a cylindrical monument featuring carven allegorical figures, a monument to area war dead from the two World Wars. After 60 years it’s the worse for wear and could stand a cleaning.
There’s much more to see at Straus Square and nearby. Take a look on this FNY page. This is also not the only Straus Square in Manhattan!
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The Strauses were also the “Straus” of Abraham & Straus, so they certainly knew their stuff when it came to running department stores.
Most people probably think of it as part of Seward Park.
I used it as a jumping off point for lunch at Wo Hop! When you come up out of the subway you are on a line of sight to the Fuvitz building. And right by Sewer Park where my father used to play basketball before WW1.