295 East 10th Street | Block : 404 | Lot #58
Description & Building Alterations
This five story brick building was constructed in 1846 for original owner Robert Laton, and designed by architect Joseph Trench.
When it was originally constructed in 1846, it was four stories tall with a basement and was designed in a transitional Greek Revival/Italianate style. Joseph Trench is responsible for this transitional style seen on multiple buildings in this area. However, later in the 19th Century, this building was raised half a story and refaced with a new Queen Anne style bracketed cornice and galvanized iron lintels and sills.
During the 1920s, this building was owned by a physician named Julius Martinson. He was responsible for converting the building into a two family residence and an office for his practice. The building was converted into a multiple family dwelling in the 1940s.
Martinson was embroiled in an accidental death scandal only a few years before, in 1914. With the benefit of hindsight, the case of his luckless patient, Connie May Thomlinson, resembles many other sad stories of ‘illegal operations’ that occurred in maternity hospitals before the national legalization of abortion in the landmark Roe V. Wade case of 1973. Thomlinson, 22 years old and married for only 9 days at the time of her passing, underwent a procedure at the hands of Dr. Martinson and resultantly developed fatal peritonitis. Although no article ever explicitly states that Thomlinson’s procedure was definitively an abortion, the facts that it took place in a maternity hospital and caused fatal peritonitis are both indicators that it was. Most likely owing to the fact that her parents were involved in the New York City social circuit, the story made the newspapers and prompted an inquest into Martinson’s involvement in her death. While there are no follow-up articles to the story between 1914 and 1922, when Martinson was exonerated of any wrongdoing by the Grand Jury, one can determine from his ownership of No. 295 that his medical career was not irrevocably destroyed by Thomlinson’s untimely demise.
Block : 404 / Lot : 058 / Building Date : c. 1846 / Original Owner : Robert Laton / Original Use : Residential / Original Architect : Joseph Trench (attributed)