Astor Through the Years: 1940's - 1950's

1940's & 50's | 1960's | 1970's | 1980's | 1990's | 2000's | 2010's


  • August — The main building, built by Vincent Astor in memory of his father, John Jacob Astor, opened as Holiday Farm, Inc., a convalescent home for children.


  • The convalescent home temporarily closed; facility given to Archbishopric of New York.


  • May – The facility reopened as the Colonel John Jacob Astor Convalescent Home for Children, under the auspices of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York and staffed by the Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt.
  • October 5 – Official dedicaton
  • October 19 – Facility officially opens


  • December 1 — The Astor Home for Children opened at the request of the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene as one of three pilot projects in the State to develop techniques of residential treatment for emotionally disturbed children.
  • The agency was Incorporated on December 17, 1952.


  • January 5 — Four Daughters of Charity and three New York City boys arrived to begin the first Residential Treatment Center under Catholic auspices. By April 1953, 23 boys were in residential treatment and there was a need to expand the facility.


  • Ground breaking for the Treatment Pavilion (now called the School Wing), the beginning of social services to families, a change in the Astor School Program to Public School #619 (special school) under the New York City Board of Education and admission of Astor to the Greater New York Fund.
  • December 4 – Ground breaking for new wing ($175,000) – funds donated by The Vincent Astor Foundation.


  • Dedication of the Treatment Pavilion, September 26, 1955 (with 25 boys in care). That same year the Foster Home Program and research program initiated, Astor held its first Fall Conference on Psychiatric Treatment of Children (10/10/55) and the training program in social work was initiated.


  • Psychology training program was initiated.


  • 5th Anniversary of The Astor Home for Children.
  • The five-year pilot project proved a success with 90% of the boys returning to normal lives and the project continued. A new form of group living closely paralleling family type living was introduced and is still utilized.