MONDAY August 28, 1922
BROADCASTING PROGRAM HAWTHORNE COURT INTRODUCTION
(Read by Vischer A. Randall, WEAF announcer.)
This afternoon the radio audience is to be addressed by Mr. Blackwell
of the Queensboro Corporation, who through arrangements made by the Griffin
Radio Service, Inc., will say a few words concerning Nathaniel Hawthorne
and the desirability of fostering the helpful community spirit and the
healthful unconfined home life that were Hawthorne ideals. Ladies and Gentlemen:
BROADCASTING PROGRAM HAWTHORNE COURT
(Talk delivered by Mr. Blackwell of the Queensboro Corporation)
It is fifty-eight years since Nathaniel Hawthorne, the greatest of American fictionists, passed away. To honor his memory the Queensboro Corporation, creator and operator of the tenant-owned system of apartment homes at Jackson Heights, New York City, has named its latest group of high-grade dwellings "Hawthorne Court."
I wish to thank those within the sound of my voice for the broadcasting opportunity afforded me to urge this vast radio audience to seek the recreation and the daily comfort of the home removed from the congested part of the city, right at the boundaries of God's great outdoors, and within a few minutes by subway from the business section of Manhattan. This sort of residential environment strongly influenced Hawthorne, America's greatest writer of fiction. He analyzed with charming keeness the social spirit of those who had thus happily selected their homes with good-natured relish.
There should be more Hawthorne sermons preached about the utter inadequacy and the general hopelessness of the congested city home. The cry of the heart is for more living room, more chance to unfold, more opportunity to get near to Mother Earth, to play, to romp, to plant and to dig.
Let me enjoin upon you as you value your health and your hopes and your home happiness, get away from the soild masses of brick, where the meagre opening admitting a slant of sunlight is mockingly called a light shaft, and where children grow up starved for a run over a patch of grass and the sight of a tree.
Apartments in congested parts of the city have proven failures. The word neighbor is an expression of peculiar irony -- a daily joke.
Thousands of dwellers in the congested district apartments want to remove to healthier and happier sections but they don't know and they can't seem to get into the belief that their living situation and home environment can be improved. Many of them balk at buying a house in the country or the suburbs and becoming a commuter. They have visions of toiling down in a cellar with a sullen furnace, or shovelling snow, or of the blistering palms pushing a clanking lawn mower. They can't seem to overcome the pessimistic inertia that keeps pounding into their brains that their crowdede, unhealthy, unhappy living conditions cannot be improved.
The fact is, however, that apartment homes on the tenant-ownership plan can be secured by these city martyrs merely for the deciding to pick them -- merely for the devoting of an hour or so to the preliminary verification of the living advantages that are within their grasp. And this too within twenty minutes of New York's business center by subway transit.
Those who balk at building a house or buying one already built need not remain deprived of the blessings of the home within the ideal residential environment, ot the home surrounded by social advantages and the community benefits where neighor means more than a word of eight letters.
In these better days of more opportunities, it is possible under the tenant-ownership plan to posses an apartment-home that is equal in every way to the house-home and superior to it in numberless respects.
In these same better days, the purchaser of an apartment-home can enjoy all the latest conveniences and contrivances demanded by the housewife and yet have all of the outdoor life that the city dweller yearns for but has deludedly supposed could only be obtained thru purchase of a house in the country.
Imagine a congested city apartment lifted bodily to the middle of a large garden within twenty minutes travel of the city's business center. Imagine the interior of a group of such apartments traversed by a garden court stretching a block, with beautiful flower beds and rich sward. so that the present jaded congested section dweller on looking out his windows is not chilled with the brick and mortar vista, but gladdened and enthused by colors and scents that make life worth living once more. Imagine an apartment to live in at a place where you and your neighbor join the same community clubs, organizations, and activities, where you golf with your neighbor, tennis with your neighbor, bowl with your neighbor and join him in a long list of outdoor and indoor pleasure-giving health-giving activities.
And finally, imagine such a tenant-owned apartment, where you own a floor in a house the same as you can own an entire house with a proportionate ownership of the ground, the same as the ground attatched to an entire house but where you have great spaces for planting and growing the flowers you love, and raising the vegetables for which you are fond.
Right at your door is such an opportunity. It only requires the will to take advantage of it all. You owe it to yourself and you owe it to your family to leave the hemmed-in, sombre-hued, artificial apartment life of the congested city section and enjoy what nature intended you enjoy.
Dr. Royal S. Copeland, Health Commissioner of New York, recently declared
that any person who preached leaving the crowded city for the open country
was a public-spirited citizen and a benefactor to the race. Shall we not
follow this advice and become the benefactors he praises? Let us resolve
to do so. Let me close by urging that you hurry to the apartment home near
the green fields and the neighborly atmosphere right on the subway without
the expense and the trouble of a commuter, where health and community happiness
beckon -- the community life and friendly environment that Hawthorne advocated.
Text from original manuscript, NBC Central Files, as published in "History Of Radio to 1926" by Gleason L. Archer (The American Historical Society, New York, 1938)