• Wendell Maxey

Officers Club at Fort Wadsworth Selected as Future Location of the Staten Island Holocaust Center

Updated: Apr 26

Dear Friends of the Staten Island Holocaust Center,

I’m pleased to bring you some very exciting news: We have located a site for our permanent home!

We are excited to officially announce that the former Officers Club at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island will be the future location of the Staten Island Holocaust Center.

We have signed a Letter of Intent with the National Park Service, which will allow us to renovate this building. According to the National Park Service, the Officers Club at Fort Wadsworth was built in 1938 as part of the military base by the United States Army to serve as supportive housing for permanent troops stationed there. Its location overlooking the Narrows is of particular significance because many of our ancestors traveled this waterway as they immigrated to the United States to begin their new lives in America. Family members shipped out past the site as part of the American military effort to rid the world of Adolph Hitler and his Nazi ideas. And after the War, the displaced refugees saw this location as they entered New York Harbor to rebuild their lives.

We have entered into a contract with architect Glen Cutrona to do an evaluation of the building and provide an estimate for its renovation. The Officers Club has been dormant for about ten years and because of its age, lacks any current structural studies. It will require significant initial work before it can become a suitable Museum.

Once renovated, the Museum will have galleries dedicated to the Holocaust, the survivors and their remarkable stories; the history of the Jewish Community on Staten Island; the recollections of GI’s who freed the camps, the Islanders who served during World War II, and the tales of non-Jews who worked diligently to save the lives of their Jewish neighbors.

There has been a 100% commitment from the SIHC Board to the project and to raise the initial $25,000.00 needed for the site evaluation and initial architectural drawings. We anticipate the expenses related to the next steps, the construction related “soft costs” such as architectural fees, governmental permits and inspections, and structural evaluations to be about $100,000.00. We could use your help in meeting this goal.

Your tax-deductible donation of any amount will help us to move onto the next phase of the project.

Please send your contribution made payable to the “Staten Island Holocaust Center, Inc.” to 139 Admiralty Loop, Staten Island, New York 10309. Alternatively, you may also use our donation page for PayPal on our website to contribute to our on-going efforts.

Thank you for your support and look forward to when we can welcome each other to our new home at the Officers Club at Fort Wadsworth.

Best Regards,

Philip S. Straniere

Board Chair, Staten Island Holocaust Center